When financial services firms make a deliberate effort to place more women in leadership positions they win in two ways: 

  1. They help create the climate of trust that is crucial for successfully decoding organisational DNA and driving workplace improvements.
  2. They improve their progress toward full gender equality within their leadership ranks. 

As I explained in my first blog post of this series, digitally derived information about work and the workforce―organisational DNA―can yield valuable insights that can help you improve workforce performance. But acquiring that information requires an environment of trust. There is ample research that women tend to outperform men when it comes to the soft skills that can help create a trusting work environment. 

In my previous blog post, I pointed out that financial services as an industry still has some work to do to achieve gender equality across the board, and particularly within the leadership ranks. Fortunately, women are attracted to the industry for exactly the reasons that make their presence conducive to a more trusting environment, including their desire to help people improve their lives. 

Firms that take the right steps to be successful at decoding their organisational DNA while also increasing the number of women in leadership can get greater benefit from each effort, accelerating their journey toward an improved future workforce and gender equality. 

Steps to take to successfully decode organisational DNA

There are four things you can do to get the greatest benefit from using digital capabilities to analyse and improve your workforce knowledge: 

  1. Give Control. Gain Trust. When employees feel empowered in their jobs, they become more trusting of the organisation. 
  2. Share Responsibility. Share Benefits. Transparency, shared responsibility and open accountability about how workplace data is gathered and used are crucial. The process should be a partnership between leadership and employees.  
  3. Elevate People. Use Tech ResponsiblyData and technology used properly is an asset for all. Data and technology used improperly has serious negative consequences. The goal of decoding organisational DNA should be to benefit everyone. 
  4. Resist complacency. Continue to question and evolve where you are in the process and what you are doing with your employee data. 

Because soft skills are a critical element in creating the right environment for decoding organisational DNA, it makes sense to combine these efforts with a solid plan for including more women in positions of leadership within your firm. 

Making financial services an inviting place for women

Our 2019 Ultimate Guide to Gender Parity highlights the following key components in creating a gender-neutral work environment:  

  • Make gender disparity visible through transparency 
  • Take action to remediate disparities that are revealed 
  • Set leadership equity targets and meet them 
  • Fully engage men, and leadership, in the process 
  • Stop making gender parity “separate but equal” 

Additionally, financial services firms can make their workplace a more attractive environment for women leaders by recognising the type of environment and work style that women, and female leaders, wantand then adjusting the culture and work environment to create those opportunitiesFlexibility, autonomy and the opportunity to make valuable contributions and reap intrinsic rewards are key factors. 

Clearly, including more women in financial leadership and decoding organisational DNA are win-win propositions that go hand-in-hand. Firms that follow the steps I’ve outlined can reap the benefits of both efforts. 

For more information about decoding organisational DNA, please see Accenture’s report: “Putting Trust to Work―Decoding Organizational DNA: Trust, Data and Unlocking Value in the Digital Workplace 

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