Why everyone should prioritize gender equality in leadership

Share this post:

Few organizations make gender equality in leadership a formal business priority, but those that do outperform.  

Despite abundant evidence that gender equality in leadership is good for business, an overwhelming majority of organizations say advancing women into leadership roles is not a formal business priority. In fact, women hold only 18 per cent of senior leadership positions among 2,300 organizations surveyed worldwide. In other words, men occupy approximately 82 per cent of the most influential roles in today’s organizations. Also, promoting women is not a formal business priority at 79 per cent of surveyed organizations. Respondents estimate it could take more than 50 years to close this gap. 

DID YOU READ: Nordic Organizations Now Need More than 11 Times Longer to Close Today’s Skills Gap 

Companies can make changes to help turn the tide much faster, and there’s a good reason to do so. We discovered a small cohort of exceptional organizations (about 12 per cent of respondents) that are more proactive in the push for gender equality in leadership. They report that they are outperforming their competition in profitability, revenue growth, innovation, and employee satisfaction. We call these organizations “First Movers.”

First Movers acknowledge their responsibility to take action and say they believe gender inclusiveness will result in enhanced organizational success. More than 80 per cent have elevated gender-equitable leadership to a strategic business imperative. 

From our analysis of the First Movers, we have identified four key practices that can help other organizations close the gender gap in leadership. Read the report below to learn about the practices your organization can use to create an inclusive corporate culture. At IBM we think that all employees should have equal opportunities to grow their careers. You can see our current job openings here.

While IBM has been a leader in corporate diversity and inclusion for decades, 2020 was a reset, and 2021 should be looked forward to. Click here to read the newly released 2020 Diversity & Inclusion report, which outlines actions focused on driving systemic change.

Advancing gender equity is a clear win. But doubling down on pre-COVID approaches won’t get organizations where they need to be. Read more about this in the following report.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

HR Leader IBM Nordic

More Business stories

Data Democratization – making data available

One of the trending buzzwords of the last years in my world is “Data Democratization”. Which this year seems to have been complemented by “Data Fabric” and “Data Mesh”. What it is really about the long-standing challenge of making data available. It is another one of these topics that often gets the reaction “How hard […]

Continue reading

How to act in the new regulation of financial sector

Our world is changing. Because of that regulators around the world are taking ambitious steps to improve the sustainability of the financial sector and guide capital towards sustainable economic activity. Especially in EU we are seeing a high level of regulations. These regulatory interventions present complex and sensitive legal challenges for financial sector firms, which […]

Continue reading

Private cloud or public cloud? New server technology offers more choice

In September, we launched the new IBM Power E1080 high-end server, for corporate use based on the  new Power10 architecture, the Power E1080. The server can – among many other things – handle a large number of applications and workloads securely, at scale and with highest availability. Going into the spring of 2022, we will […]

Continue reading