Vanessa Fuhrmans (WSJ, Gender Equality)


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The hidden battle of the sexes at work this is an article that was written last week's Wall Street Journal that NASA fuhrman's from the journal joins us now. To talk about the issue I Vanessa welcome to show. Right so is gender diversity still a problem in the workplace today. I had yeah I think I think it is I mean if you look at the numbers that just came out of this massive lean and and McKinsey study. I think that is probably the largest ever survey. Studies done. Employees. And companies where they work. And it really shows like anti disparities not only in and the managerial pipeline every step of the way toward. Towards. He's sweet but also in the way that men and women think about diversity. However could. Which did it what's the financial impact because this is what I found most instinct on that study that you referenced. What's the financial impact of having a more diverse group of decision makers. Throughout your company in other words middle management upper management you mention the sea suite. We if you if you have a diversified. Workforce how does that impact earnings of profitability. Well there's there's certainly a growing body of evidence that suggests that having more and as you had a marred the first. Group person. Definitely are actually. Helps feed the bottom line. And patty Dunn wanted to and McKinsey study in the last two couple of years that said that companies that did have. More diverse management and board members. Actually outperformed. Companies with fewer. And more diverse board members. And management. That goes for both ethnic diversity and gender diversity. And I think that's why you're seeing a lot of companies and he did. Question has found it's not just lip service that interest from companies that certainly is more public relations that's. A lot of companies are. Anxious about this anxious about moving the needle on this because they'd they didn't heed the business case lines. And that's because they hear it you do this the study said that they're making better decisions consumer related decisions you grit that. Right dead that the ideas that if you have a more diverse group of decision leaders here are more. You better reflecting the market in trying to Serbs to their countless examples of companies that came up with products because they had people. And the two room well basically important in with the market that they were thinking about. When women are surveyed do they believe that they are being passed over for opportunities based on their sex. A lot of them yeah I ended that was one of the more startling. Statistics in this particular study and in particular how much that was different from the when the wave men penalty. It isn't it and some 37% of women. Said days their gender has played a role in losing a promotion or another chance to get ahead when you have to remember that only 8%. And what about Blackstone Blackstone is a huge hedge fund what are they doing because they recognize this. If they're actually one of the better hedge funds. Eight in the universe of headphones. What are they doing to create and recruit more women. Well certainly a number of things bag you know where they'd a real issue analysts right at the beginning of that pipeline. That they. Couldn't even you know they they want to expand everybody wants to expand the number of management and women in management to do that you have to have a pool. Women that your company. So cultivate and before you talk about pool of women to culture that you have to actually recruit them and they thought that they were. Only getting something like 1015. Press hand that applicant pool where women that the may be getting. They realize that we need to not just. Go ask her women's start recruiting them that they're coming out of college going in to entrench its but even before that when they're sophomores and tell them about. The finance amnesty tell them about blacks can help. Give them and provide them as skilled are our teach them skills and you job interviewing and and he had about the main building is not that women can't do that on their own but it is certainly offers good support system. What about diversity training you know back in the ninety's that was a big thing at least in the company that I write for the easy. Hey you know lead to go to diversity training and nay I I thought it was a big pain in the. It's well I and diversity training is evolving. And when you look at past studies research. It says. Let it happen hasn't worked that he knows the managers see that this is as he had to pay and the body as an obligation you have to jacket off. And you kind of being preached to two hot topic you know here's what you're doing wrong here's what you need do. Better I think it. That is evolving I think what you're doing now is more of a focused on by the in the training her more people are learning with a parent content I have that. By deep and it's and I it has been from what I understand it's a bit more inclusive of everybody. And probably all haven't unconscious bias did you do I do. At this time it's supposed to bring more people into the fold and all will be more eye opening about things he just didn't realize about the way you think about things okay. I think maybe in the next few years we might have a different view on that the jury is still out. But Vanessa Lee egg I you know it will tend to look at her own personal situation but my wife. You know we had our first child in 1987 and she didn't come back to work I think it was until 2006 a shoes out of the workforce for nineteen years. Raising our kids. Like that's got to have an influence over a a woman's ability to climb up the corporate ladder in nineteen year gap in terms of professional experience. You write about them and that's that's certainly a big part of that we we still are do you have today. You know workplaces. That are designed around Atlanta evident once I had that comment. Designed around. Quite simply the person who doesn't take time out for work doesn't have all of those familial obligations and and an end and many people argue endlessly really attack attack claimed the structural things not just. The attitudes and perceptions in the workplace but as instructional things that that political change. If women in particular. Pretty much any ambitious with our high ranking woman in a different technique is. Going to have that they have this bout they have a thousand who has people here and equally demanding career. What we probably are realized I don't really quite realize how pervasive it isn't an easy numbers that is that men. On the other hand if it does mean most of them. Actually. Pakistan and reach that level. At the companies they more likely happen to stay at home spouse or part time out to attend. Pick up some of that black and outside of pork that's that's not the case for women and in most instances. He made and that that they're doing double shift and play. They get so they suffer accordingly and Vanessa thank you very much for your timing your efforts appreciate it. Having Vanessa fuhrman's Wall Street Journal talking to us about. Gender equality in corporate America but there's some professions you know you look at education dominated by women. You look at health care right in nursing in particular dominate that was very few male over nurses. Again the senate I think it's like 20% male nurses and Lex is a less than not looking up on the break but today you'll see that you know percentage and nurses that are men. And say Al predict a make a prediction here under 5% of nurses error and you can tell us the answer when we come back also tell you. How I captured that pesky swirled last night. That's next from the financial exchange or again. You've got Barry Armstrong. Financial exchange shall look I mean she'll exchange radio network.