Increasing gender diversity to boost performance

This paper presents the value of gender diversity in business. It aims to help CFOs, senior finance professionals and HR professionals working alongside finance teams, to understand the value of gender diversity and make the business case for diversity to their peers.


This briefing looks primarily at gender diversity for a number of reasons. Women make up roughly half the population, so organisations that lack a gender balance are simply unrepresentative of the society in which they operate. Most regulatory action and research has so far been focused on gender diversity. It is also perhaps where employers can make the biggest initial progress: internal data on gender is typically more readily available than that on ethnicity or disability, for example.  

This does not mean that gender is the most important, or only, aspect of diversity. Companies need to recruit and develop people from different ethnic groups, social and educational backgrounds, experiences, ages, etc. By tapping into the widest talent pool, employers can encourage innovative thinking, build relationships with a wider range of customers, and develop more resilient and global value chains, among other benefits.

Many of the conclusions drawn in this briefing and suggested actions are applicable to all forms of diversity initiative, not just those aiming to increase the representation of women.