3 ‘soft’ ways to cut the hard costs of sex discrimination

DiscriminationEmployers keep getting dragged into court by female employees alleging sex discrimination. Year after year, gender bias accounts for about 30% of EEOC charges. Many of those claims allege that well-qualified women were denied promotions they deserved.

A new report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) suggests that lack of gender diversity—which lies at the root of many sex discrimination lawsuits—could be prevented by three cultural changes. Implementing any one of them could be key to avoiding costly litigation.

1. Increasing the visibility of female role models. Forty-four percent of women executives responding to a new BCG survey cited this as being one of the most effective measures for balancing gender diversity. Reason: It raises the profile of all women in the workplace and encourages women at lower levels in the organization to be more visible themselves.

2. Empowering men to support gender diversity. The report found a strong correlation between male executive’s support for gender diversity and women’s reported progress.

3. Supporting women at key career moments. Ensuring women have role models, particularly during “moments of truth” in their career, such as receiving promotions and returning from maternity leave, is critical.

Read the full BCG report—including more advice on the practical benefits of promoting gender diversity at work—at tinyurl.com/BCG-gender-diversity.