631: 5 Strategies to Close the Gender Gap (And Why It Will Grow Your Business) w/ Addie Swartz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Addie Swartz, the CEO of reacHire.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/addieswartz/

Wouldn't it be nice to have severalfault leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast,invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping thebenefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fishMediacom. You're listening to the be to be growth show, podcast dedicated tohelping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategiesor tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm JonathanGreen and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome backto the be to be gross show. Today we are joined by adding sworts. Addie is the CEO of reach higher. Addy, welcome to the show.Thanks so much for having me, Jonathan. I am. I'm excitedabout today's episode. Today's topic, I...

...think it's it's extremely the timing isright. It's extremely topical. We needed to have you on the show totalk about this. Today we're going to be talking about closing the corporate gendergap and the five strategies for keeping women in the game, which which isperfect. But before of course, we get into the topic today. Maybeyou can tell our audience a little about what you and the reach higher teamor up to these days. Sure. So, we have been working reallyhard at creating a pathway for women to get back to the workforce, womenwho have taken time off, as well as women who have been under utilizedin their jobs. So really trying to optimize people's roles professionally and focusing onwomen. Perfect, perfect, and and so, I mean you're you're obviouslythe right person to bring on the show today and talk to us about thisidea of closing the corporate gender gap. This is your area of expertise.It it's certainly the year to take a look at women in the workplace.So why don't we start off by you...

...know, how do you think thethe conversation is changed for women and work over the over even the past year? Well, it really has a big underscore there. You know, overthe past year we've seen just how important it is for women's voices to beheard and women are asking for much more than they have before, and whatthey're asking for is an unreasonable they're asking for gender equality in the workplace,general quality in the Board Room, in the sea suite. We're seeing moreand more women are going to raise their hand to go after positions in governmentand women are tired of waiting for gender parody across all levels. So definitelytwo thousand and eighteen is the year of the woman and the time is now. Huh, I know you had at least a just a couple of statisticsthat you had prepared, and maybe we...

...can share some of those with artwith our listeners. Sure, it's really crazy to think this, but theysay that at the rate we're going with women in Corporate America, that willtake a hundred years to achieve gender parody and sea suite. That's a hundredyears. And actually, if you break that down a bit, the barriersto gender equality at the workforce start really early, almost at the beginning ofa career. So when you look at some of the statistics, it showsthat a hundred thirty men are being promoted to manager for every hundred women thatare promoted. That's a huge difference. So even at that first level ofpromotion that are being promoted a significantly higher rate than women men. As womenprogress through that pipeline, the gap widens even more so that as you getto the sea suite. It. Today, senior executives at that level on therepresent twenty four percent that are female,...

...and that's in the top thousand UScompanies by revenue. So what's unfortunate is that at every level of thepipeline women are dripping out and as they moved into leadership roles, we seeless and less female leadership. That actually is negative repercussions for the younger womencoming up in the earlier in their career because they don't see role models theycan aspire to, and so that's not helpful for them either. That ironyof all of this is that all the research shows that companies with diverse leadershipoutperform other companies and so like statistically. Having companies financially perform fifteen percent betterin bottom line profitability because they're diversity, you know, is a is agreat fact, but it's not being replicated in getting the women into the rolesand adding the women succeed in the roles and then move up the food chain. So the time is now to pick...

...up the pace and get more women, you know, not only at that first level of promotion but moving upthe pipeline, because there certainly are plenty of women now, almost equally,that are coming into the workforce right out of college and Graduate School. Sowe've plenty of women to pull from, more than we've ever had before,and it's almost fifty, but we're not seeing that growth and that progression thatwe should see seeing. Yeah, what a whatever, whatever your personal feelingsmay be, I like that you can you can point to the facts,like look at the bottom line, you know, like showing that you knowyour company is underperforming because of your shortage of female talent. So one ofthe things that we love to do, Addie, on the show is,of course, provide our listeners with, with some actionable advice, you know, things that they can we like it to talk conceptually, but also,hey, what can I what can I do today? So what are somespecific initiatives adding that you think companies should...

...consider implementing maybe to change the imbalancefor women in the workplace? So I think there are five specific things thatcompany these can do to make it better for women to be attracted to theircompanies, stay in their companies and grow within their companies. Number One,they need to pay more attention to child care costs and the logistics around it, because you know, childcare in and of itself is a significant burden forany family. And Flexible Schedules, adjusting meeting times, ensuring professionals have ampletime to pick up children from remote locations, even subsidizing expenses tore offering childcare serviceson site. Companies just need to pay attention to more of these thingsthat are benefits that can really make a difference in meeting a woman halfway anda fan emily halfway. So that's number one, paying more attentional child carecosts and logistics. Number two really considering paid family leave. I believe paidfamily leave offers this critical glue for both...

...men and women. And if youlook at the data, in two thousand and seventeen nearly wanted four Americans hadto take leave from work to care for a family member with a serious healthcondition. That's nearly twenty five percent of the workforce that had to take timeoff because there was a serious health condition. So you know, if you hadsome paid family leave that would offer some you know, almost a bandaid to sort of help those families bridge the gap in times of crisis.And also you know that paid family leave is open to both men and women. So it would really helps to sort of give that more equal division ofcaregiving tasks across both, you know, the husband and the wife and Addie. I just I want to just jump in a really quick I just Ifeel like I want to ask a question. That is, you know, someof these things seem to lean more...

...into the this is going to costme more money. Is this? I mean, but is this, inthe long run, still going to map to positive revenue? You, Ithink I just feel like a kind of like is is that? Is thatlike a real concern? Is there? And is there an answer to that? Well, I think that companies are going to have to meet their employeesmore in the middle as we go forward. We're at an all time low forunemployment. Talent is really tight and it's easy for someone to jump fromone company to another, given the needs that they have, and so there'sa cost associated with some of this. There's also, you know, justoffering flexibility, so being more flexible if somebody has a pipe that burse oryou know has a child care issue that you know comes to the for andsomeone has to race off to school because there was an accident. So there'sa piece of flexibility that doesn't cost anything...

...out right and just in mindset ofhow do I meet my employees halfway in order to have them feel that Icare for them and I'm nurturing them and I want them to be part ofmy corporate family? Yep, absolutely so. So I didn't mean to. Ididn't mean to cut you off. I know you had you had fivethings that you were going to be talking about. Of the Child Care Costsand logistics, considering paid family leave. What was number three? That's thenumber three is men need to get more involved and invested. They have tobe part of the equation and there, as we know, there are manymore male senior leaders in corporation. So you know, they need to bepart of the conversation and mail leaders need to reach down and find, youknow, great talented professional females who they can sponsor to move up the corporateladder. So I believe that just getting more men involved in the conversation isa critical piece and companies have begun, many innovative companies have begun to havethose conversations to make sure that, you...

...know, we're all helping each other. Number four is the focus that you know, I think that companies needto pay more attention to even that promotion at the first level, creating moreconcrete programs and pathways to advance women. So, you know, one ofthe issues that women have faced and identified is that they're not getting challenging enoughassignments that are visible enough in order to move ahead, and even at thatfirst level, if men are getting promoted eighteen percent more than women, youknow, early on in your career, women are dropping out and they droppingout for other alternatives. They may not be going to another company, theymay start their own company because they're frustrated that they didn't have the challenge,the opportunity and the pay that they felt that they deserved. Number five,and what we do is that, you...

...know, I really believe this focuson attracting and retaining talented women is critical. So we really need to put thebuilly blocks in place. To think about it not as a linear highway, not a straight line that exists with no exits, no rest stops,no on and off ramps, but something where, you know, careers moveand swerve and they you know, move to the left and take a littlepit stop and then, you know, go up a little bit and thenmove to the right and if companies are able to have conversations and grow thewomen into continually challenging and an opportunistic rules, then we'll have more women in thepipeline. Those women and more would in the pipeline will beget more womenthat are able to go move up the pipeline and that way I think we'llhave more gender balance and more equity overall. Hmm, absolutely, I think that'sI think that's a perfect breakdown.

Those those sort of five concrete ways, you know, those these these changes that companies can consider implementing, whichis perfect. And we're going to kind of wrap up today's episode, Addywith one of our new favorite questions on the B tob grows show, andyou know I'm just going to I'll just put it out there. What isadd the legacy that you want to leave behind, either professionally or personally,or or even a combination of the two? Yeah, well, I've spent thelast twenty five years as an entrepreneur, as a woman and as a mothertwo daughters, building companies focused on a pairing women and girls to bethe best they can be and to reach their greatest potential. So I feelwith reach higher. You know, it's come full circle, because I reallywant to stand for great women having great opportunity, maximizing their potential and makinga difference in whatever area they're able to contribute, and that's what I believemy legacy is. That's beautiful, beautifully...

...said. Again, we've been talkingwith Addie Swartz, the CEO of reach higher. Addie, if if anyof our listeners, if anyone in our audience wants to want to actually reachout to you after today's episode and they want to talk about today's Today's topic, they want to find out more about reach higher, or they just wantto they just want to connect with you personally, what's the best way forthem to go about doing that? Oh, variety of ways. Well, certainlycan check our website out. It's www reach HIGHERCOM RAAC capital hirecom.You can find us. Our twitter handle is reach higher too. You canlink in with me at his sports on Linkedin and we'd love to start aconversation. We want to continue to work with companies and women to empower womenand power companies to do much better in equity and equality in the orgenforce.Perfect, addie. Again, thank you...

...so much for your time today.It was really it was a pleasure having you on the show. Thanks somuch, Jonathan. There are lots of ways to build a community and we'vechosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because ofthe way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, andwithout engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decidedto do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with like minded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, willbuild friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDBgrowth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time,.

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