This summer, I had the pleasure of participating in two S&P Global Women’s Initiative for Networking and Success (WINS) events, a roundtable with leaders in London and a panel on resilience in Denver. Both events underscored the tremendous passion and enthusiasm that these teams bring; passion and enthusiasm that are not always recognized by management.
One of the roundtable participants in London felt that there needed to be greater discussion around career progression for women, equality and a glass ceiling, whether perceived or real. It is essential to foster greater awareness of the very real benefits of a diverse workforce in order to dispel the traditional stereotypes.
Study after study has shown that teams with greater diversity outperform homogeneous ones because they bring different points of view that result in out of the box thinking. One that I like is a 2016 Harvard Business Review study that reports that groups with greater diversity tend to focus more on facts and be more innovative. It is a good read for all of us. And there is a more controversial one from 2011 titled, “What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women,” which flat out states that having more women in the group makes the group smarter!
In Denver, the conversation was lively. The central theme of resilience was discussed through challenging and thought-provoking questions including; how does one cope with adversity in the workplace? And how does one manage work life balance in the midst of so many different competing priorities? Panelists described their personal experiences throughout their careers and what helped guide them through adversity. We heard about the influence of role models for some, the importance of not giving up one’s aspirations for others and leveraging changes in circumstances as opportunities.
What the WINS and other Employee Resource Group teams do at S&P Global is essential to the overall health and productivity of our workforce. An engaged and diverse workforce is much more productive in the long run. I urge leaders whose organizations have ERGs to support their teams and what they do.