By Michael Pires
According to the Center for American Progress, women make up only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Though female professionals have made progressive strides in the workforce, the numbers support the argument that traditional workplace discrepancies still exist and are a very real challenge for individuals and companies.
On an organizational level, it’s the responsibility of HR professionals to work toward closing this gap by tracking individual employees and working with executives to make sure female job candidates are proactively identified and being brought into the company. More importantly, they need to ensure that female employees are receiving the proper onboarding and training needed to acquire skills and experiences that will help them succeed and develop into future executives.
Progressive employers attract and retain the best talent and a diverse employee base gives companies an inherent advantage in business.
For medium to large-size companies, a single-database human capital management platform can give HR managers the data they need to inform executives of their current employee makeup and what gaps exist in both diversity and pay. The use of a comprehensive HR technology platform as the core system of record serves to benefit not only individual employees, but also the company as a whole.
Many HR environments utilizing the traditional pen-and-paper filing system, or disparate systems, likely will not have employee demographic statistics at their disposal and will fail to effectively and consistently identify gender and wage gaps within their companies. These figures and reports can be automated and viewed in executive dashboards in single-database, integrated human capital management (HCM) technology platforms. In many cases, the insights gained from these reports provide the early warnings and act as a catalyst for HR professionals to proactively recruit and develop female employees.
In a growing organization with a continuously changing employee base, it’s easy for demographics — especially gender statistics — to fall by the wayside, as HR priority is often placed on mandatory reporting procedures for legal compliance.
However, ignoring the issue will inevitably create disparities. Furthermore, picking and choosing which information is “most important” is a sure sign that a company has outgrown its human capital management system and needs adjustments to prevent inefficiency. The use of a HCM system to track all functions of a business and its people creates a seamless experience that maximizes company resources.
Once disparities are recognized and initiatives are put in place to attract and hire female employees, it’s up to HR to make sure programs are in place to retain and advance those employees so that they may develop into internal candidates for managerial roles. This is another area where HR can lean on technology.
An integrated, single-database HCM platform has the ability to track individual employees and identify what credentials they need to move up and take on larger and more visible leadership roles. This is essential information when identifying female candidates within the company and making sure they receive the proper training and experience to prepare them for managerial positions and leadership opportunities that arise.
With pinpoint data insights produced by a single-database HCM technology platform, employers and HR professionals can create personalized professional development paths for female employees.
Diversity in the workplace isn’t simply a matter of ensuring fairness. Statistics show that top performing companies leverage diversity to bring in new insights and perspectives and to excel past their competition. Diverse expertise can challenge tired strategies and incite positive and meaningful change. It’s up to HR to identify the existing gaps and work to solve them. Technology can help empower your organization and take you there.
Michael Pires is chief executive officer of JetPay HR and Payroll Services. Visit jetpay.com