In the ever-evolving realm of corporate success, the spotlight is increasingly focused on gender diversity and inclusion. The recently released McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2023 report underscores the imperatives for organizations to chart a course toward greater inclusivity. The report affirms that companies actively contributing to societal progress also reap substantial financial rewards. The numbers are compelling: companies prioritizing gender diversity are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability. The correlation is evident: diverse executive teams lead to heightened profitability. For this to happen, corporate boards must champion strategies that will bring value to individuals and organizations alike.
This resonates fully with my own experiences. During my tenure at PepsiComy previous company, we navigated a 20-yearlong-term journey in creating a workplace where women thrived. The company’s commitment to gender diversity was manifest in a comprehensive strategy. One key assessment tool was the Organizational Health Survey, which collected valuable data on various aspects of the company culture, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion efforts. Employing a multifaceted approach — large-scale and pulse surveys, focus groups, individual feedback mechanisms, and workforce analytics — the survey not only engaged employees in the process of discovery but also provided management and senior leadership with critical insights. The results served as catalysts for informed decision-making, targeted interventions, and continuous improvement. The strategic use of workforce analytics, coupled with insights into employee attitudes and behaviors, presented a clear picture, compelling the organization to address both strengths and challenges in its gender diversity journey.
At PepsiCoIn this journey, transparency in communications was pivotal. Initiatives like the Leadership Assessment and Development Program symbolized the company’s dedication to authentic career conversations. By openly sharing assessed potential during feedback and coaching sessions, the company fostered an environment where employees, irrespective of gender, felt valued. Clear messaging from top leadership, including the CEO and Board of Directors, reinforced the importance of gender diversity, making it an integral part of the corporate culture.
Building accountability was a journey that PepsiCowe navigated skillfully. The two-rating system inpeople side of the annual Performance Management Process underscored the commitment to gender inclusivity. Progress on these initiatives, embedded in annual objectives, became a key component of the People rating. By integrating these targets into the very fabric of performance evaluation, PepsiCothe company sent a powerful message — diversity and inclusion were not peripheral goals but integral to the company’s success.
Beyond merely meeting benchmarks, we celebrated the successful accomplishments of our efforts. Annual awards at PepsiCo recognized employees who embodied and supported the gender diversity agenda. These acknowledgments were not merely symbolic; they were a testament to the commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace.
There are many ways to create and sustain a robust organizational culture of diversity, inclusion, and engagement. As stewards of company values, corporate boards play a pivotal role in identifying, developing and driving these strategies. This is not a one-off task. It is an ongoing journey, requiring commitment from all stakeholders — leaders, HR practitioners, and individual employees. In creating value for individuals, the board also propels their company toward enduring success. By remaining steadfast in their dedication to these efforts, corporate boards can do the right thing not only for their bottom line, but also for society as a whole.
With nearly 35 years in the Consumer Goods Industry, Umran Beba is a seasoned professional specializing in general management, talent, and diversity. Having resided in Turkey, Hong Kong, UAE, and the USA, her cross-cultural insights enable her to transcend borders and create strategic alignment between various facets of business. Her distinct blend of financial prowess and deep appreciation for the power of human potential allows her to create enduring value for people and organizations.
Connect with me on LinkedIn
The Signitt Network
People with a vision and a story to tell. Stories are the best way to deliver a vision that your audiences will find…
Steering Through Global Uncertainty to Achieve Strategic Alignment — Umran Beba
Amid the complex landscape of today’s global dynamics, the importance of corporate boards in cultivating strategic…
Corporate Boards as Architects of Sustainable Impact — Umran Beba
The role of corporate boards has taken on a new dimension, one that goes beyond traditional governance and extends into…
Essential Skills for Future-Proofing Corporate Boards — Umran Beba
In today’s dynamic global business landscape, characterized by rapid technological advancements, profound…
Creating a New World Leadership - Hunt Scanlon Media
None of us expected that 2020 would bring a pandemic that would disrupt our daily lives and shift working conditions to…