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 several fault 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 the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be to be growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to 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 excited about today's episode. Today's topic, I...

...think it's it's extremely the timing is right. It's extremely topical. We needed to have you on the show to talk about this. Today we're going to be talking about closing the corporate gender gap and the five strategies for keeping women in the game, which which is perfect. But before of course, we get into the topic today. Maybe you can tell our audience a little about what you and the reach higher team or up to these days. Sure. So, we have been working really hard at creating a pathway for women to get back to the workforce, women who have taken time off, as well as women who have been under utilized in their jobs. So really trying to optimize people's roles professionally and focusing on women. Perfect, perfect, and and so, I mean you're you're obviously the right person to bring on the show today and talk to us about this idea 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 the the conversation is changed for women and work over the over even the past year? Well, it really has a big underscore there. You know, over the past year we've seen just how important it is for women's voices to be heard and women are asking for much more than they have before, and what they'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 more and more women are going to raise their hand to go after positions in government and women are tired of waiting for gender parody across all levels. So definitely two 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 statistics that you had prepared, and maybe we...

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

...and that's in the top thousand US companies by revenue. So what's unfortunate is that at every level of the pipeline women are dripping out and as they moved into leadership roles, we see less and less female leadership. That actually is negative repercussions for the younger women coming up in the earlier in their career because they don't see role models they can aspire to, and so that's not helpful for them either. That irony of all of this is that all the research shows that companies with diverse leadership outperform other companies and so like statistically. Having companies financially perform fifteen percent better in bottom line profitability because they're diversity, you know, is a is a great fact, but it's not being replicated in getting the women into the roles and 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 up the pipeline, because there certainly are plenty of women now, almost equally, that are coming into the workforce right out of college and Graduate School. So we'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 that we should see seeing. Yeah, what a whatever, whatever your personal feelings may be, I like that you can you can point to the facts, like look at the bottom line, you know, like showing that you know your company is underperforming because of your shortage of female talent. So one of the 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 some specific initiatives adding that you think companies should...

...consider implementing maybe to change the imbalance for women in the workplace? So I think there are five specific things that company these can do to make it better for women to be attracted to their companies, 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 for any family. And Flexible Schedules, adjusting meeting times, ensuring professionals have ample time to pick up children from remote locations, even subsidizing expenses tore offering childcare services on site. Companies just need to pay attention to more of these things that are benefits that can really make a difference in meeting a woman halfway and a fan emily halfway. So that's number one, paying more attentional child care costs and logistics. Number two really considering paid family leave. I believe paid family leave offers this critical glue for both...

...men and women. And if you look at the data, in two thousand and seventeen nearly wanted four Americans had to take leave from work to care for a family member with a serious health condition. That's nearly twenty five percent of the workforce that had to take time off because there was a serious health condition. So you know, if you had some paid family leave that would offer some you know, almost a band aid 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 of caregiving 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 I feel like I want to ask a question. That is, you know, some of these things seem to lean more...

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

...out right and just in mindset of how do I meet my employees halfway in order to have them feel that I care for them and I'm nurturing them and I want them to be part of my corporate family? Yep, absolutely so. So I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to cut you off. I know you had you had five things that you were going to be talking about. Of the Child Care Costs and logistics, considering paid family leave. What was number three? That's the number three is men need to get more involved and invested. They have to be part of the equation and there, as we know, there are many more male senior leaders in corporation. So you know, they need to be part of the conversation and mail leaders need to reach down and find, you know, great talented professional females who they can sponsor to move up the corporate ladder. So I believe that just getting more men involved in the conversation is a critical piece and companies have begun, many innovative companies have begun to have those 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 need to pay more attention to even that promotion at the first level, creating more concrete programs and pathways to advance women. So, you know, one of the issues that women have faced and identified is that they're not getting challenging enough assignments that are visible enough in order to move ahead, and even at that first level, if men are getting promoted eighteen percent more than women, you know, early on in your career, women are dropping out and they dropping out for other alternatives. They may not be going to another company, they may 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 focus on attracting and retaining talented women is critical. So we really need to put the builly 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 move and swerve and they you know, move to the left and take a little pit stop and then, you know, go up a little bit and then move to the right and if companies are able to have conversations and grow the women into continually challenging and an opportunistic rules, then we'll have more women in the pipeline. Those women and more would in the pipeline will beget more women that are able to go move up the pipeline and that way I think we'll have more gender balance and more equity overall. Hmm, absolutely, I think that's I think that's a perfect breakdown.

Those those sort of five concrete ways, you know, those these these changes that companies can consider implementing, which is perfect. And we're going to kind of wrap up today's episode, Addy with one of our new favorite questions on the B tob grows show, and you know I'm just going to I'll just put it out there. What is add 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 the last twenty five years as an entrepreneur, as a woman and as a mother two daughters, building companies focused on a pairing women and girls to be the best they can be and to reach their greatest potential. So I feel with reach higher. You know, it's come full circle, because I really want to stand for great women having great opportunity, maximizing their potential and making a difference in whatever area they're able to contribute, and that's what I believe my legacy is. That's beautiful, beautifully...

...said. Again, we've been talking with Addie Swartz, the CEO of reach higher. Addie, if if any of our listeners, if anyone in our audience wants to want to actually reach out 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 want to they just want to connect with you personally, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Oh, variety of ways. Well, certainly can check our website out. It's www reach HIGHERCOM RAAC capital hirecom. You can find us. Our twitter handle is reach higher too. You can link in with me at his sports on Linkedin and we'd love to start a conversation. We want to continue to work with companies and women to empower women and 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 so much, Jonathan. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to 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, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth 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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