Twenty-five women. That’s the most women that we have had in the past six years on our flagship list, The Staffing 100. Yes, it’s disappointing that we were unable to honor more women, but our lists are nomination based. In fact, the hope behind the introduction of the Global Power 100 — Women in Staffing list was to highlight the contributions of women to the ecosystem so that eventually, a separate list would not be needed.
Beyond staffing, women are no better represented. For example, of the 2,765 companies on the Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index (MSCI ACWI), 20.0% of directors were women in 2019. While that’s up from 17.9% the year prior, men still comprise 80% of company boards.
And that takes me back to why SIA’s Women in Staffing list, which has since been expanded to include 150 women leaders, is just as important as ever. Now, at a time when the ecosystem is grappling with significant upheaval amid the pandemic as well as the racial crisis sweeping the world, the work and voices of women need to be heard.
Over the past few years, there’s been a drive to improve the gender diversity of company boards, much of it driven by investors, but some at the legislative level. California enacted legislation mandating that by the end of 2021, public companies headquartered in the state must have two women on boards of five, and three women on boards of six or more. Other states have taken a different approach, instead mandating public disclosure of their board’s gender composition.
Why the push? In the past, research indicated gender diversity on company boards has a direct positive effect on the bottom line. Subsequent research hasn’t borne that out, even going as far to say the effect is neither positive nor negative. However, let’s not dismiss the gender diversity effect on other areas, such as social responsibility. According to Corinne Post, a professor of organization management at Lehigh University, there was a five times stronger correlation between a company having female board members and stronger performance when it comes to ensuring they are environmentally friendly as a company, or involved in philanthropy for example, than the correlation between female board members and profits.
And as staffing industry professionals, this takes on a greater significance when you realize who puts great weight on a company’s social responsibility. It is the younger generation. Your future workforce. More and more, they say they want to work for companies with a social purpose.
One thing that has always stood out to me when editing our Women in Staffing profiles is the commitment many have to social responsibility, to improving the lives of others, to giving voice to others, to lift others up — all the while definitely and demonstrably contributing to their own companies’ bottom line.
So, here’s a chance to make a difference both to your own company and gender diversity.
We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Global Power 150 — Women in Staffing list, sponsored by Bullhorn. So take the time to tell us about a woman you believe is deserving of this recognition. The list is not a ranking, but a shout-out to their contributions to the industry. The deadline is July 31. Make your nomination today.