Frost & Sullivan Leads the Way with GLOW – An Innovative Approach to Ensuring Growth & Leadership of Women
May 11, 2017
GLOW (Growth & Leadership of Women) is an exciting new initiative that Frost & Sullivan has launched globally. The company plans to lead the way as an innovative, global organization, and one that recognizes the huge benefits that diversity at every level can bring to an organization.
There has been much press, presentations, articles, blogs, and seminars discussing the importance of leveraging women in the workforce. Frost & Sullivan research shows that gender gaps (i.e., pay, titles, and opportunities) are closing. At the same time, a Silicon Valley success story like Google is being sued for paying women less than men for the same job. As a company that focuses on helping its clients to accelerate their growth through innovation, Frost & Sullivan is leveraging its consulting know-how to find inventive solutions to close this gap.
It’s no secret that for a long time, men have made the majority of decisions on product design, production; sales and marketing; and R&D. This is true for everything from detergent to houses. However, the key buyers (or at least solid influencers) of the products and services being sold are often female. Furthermore, technological advances and standardization is increasing competition across industries, making it difficult for companies to differentiate themselves. Another critical factor is that reaching the end user has become much more complex. Let’s not forget that the way people consume media has changed dramatically; there are too many distractions and advertising overload, making it challenging for companies to leave a lasting impression. Selling a product or service now requires innovative and creative thinking. Tapping into the female segment for talent not only provides organizations with a new perspective, it gives them an “inside” look into the thinking of people who make at least half of the purchases worldwide!
Yet most companies have not taken action to initiate change in their organizations. Although many leaders understand the benefits of elevating women in the organization, changing their corporate culture is difficult. Having a diverse staff in the boardroom can be uncomfortable. Understanding how the other half thinks, works, communicates, and even plays, is a process.
So What’s Frost & Sullivan Doing Differently?
First and foremost, the company is applying its unique research methods and consultative skills to the problem. The chart below shows the company’s employee make up.
Data shows that Frost & Sullivan starts out of the gate at full speed; about an equal number of men and women are on staff at the entry levels. However, women drop off (significantly in some cases) as you move up the ladder. This chart shows a breakdown of staff by career level:
There could be many reasons for this decline – children/family/work-life balance, insufficient incentives, better opportunities elsewhere, and lack of recognition. These are challenges that many organizations face. However, Frost & Sullivan is determined to change this statistic; the company’s board and partners recognize that innovation is only possible by bringing new perspectives to the table. By mentoring and empowering the best and brightest women, Frost & Sullivan hopes to incorporate more women into the critical corporate decision-making needed to thrive in this competitive landscape.
An extensive survey of the organization will help identify the gender gaps and determine the career growth needs of its staff. After analyzing the results, training modules will be developed and policies will be changed to support, both, men and women. The changes should positively impact the entire work force by giving everyone the skills and tools they need to better communicate, negotiate, and collaborate with one another. The outcome of this process can give the company a significant edge in the consulting business.
Why Should All Industries Take Action Now?
Here are a few facts from Frost & Sullivan’s The Next Frontier of Growth—Women as Corporate Customers What This Means for Business and Economies.
Retail companies lead industries in female representation, with more than 60% of women engaged in the workforce and more than 50% posted in managerial roles.
- There has been an almost 6% decrease in the gender gap (2012–2015) in entrepreneurship, with women now owning 37% of global enterprises.
- In the next decade, women will change the workforce landscape with an average participation rate of more than 40%; this will add up to 250 million more women to the global labor force.
- Women are expected to control $43 trillion of global consumer spending by 2020.
- Global female income is expected to reach $24 trillion by 2020; this is more than the economies of China or the United States, the largest state economies in the world.
- Companies with at least one female board member have increased performance by 10%, in contrast with companies with no female board members.
- Companies with more than 30% of women in management are expected to have up to a 25% increase in profits.
This further illustrates why it’s important for every organization to start thinking about how to better utilize ALL employees.
Go to https://www.frost.com/nff3 for much more detail on this topic including examples of best practices. Or contact us at email@example.com for advice on how to make change in your organization.
Global Vice President/Digital Transformation
follow me on twitter @alpabshah
This May marks my 22th year with Frost & Sullivan. Being part of a fast-growing company and dynamic industry, an entrepreneurial culture, and a fun environment is invigorating and worth every moment. My professional and volunteer experience includes business and strategy planning, product and vertical market analysis, growth consulting, event planning and execution, sales and marketing, web design, and most importantly, creating and inspiring teams to be best in class. Consulting projects have ranged from strategy development to white papers to end user analyses. My focus now is to guide visionary CXOs and IT leaders through the next era of digital transformation with the help of a IT experts and analysts across all industries. Prior to joining Frost and Sullivan, I worked for Smith Barney for 5 years in its accounting division handling incentive compensation plans. In this position I was responsible, from an accounting and payroll perspective, for the capital accumulation and deferred compensation plans of top management and account executives. Thereafter, I worked as an account executive at Edward Jones, a brokerage company for approximately one year. In these positions, I learned much about the operations of a financial company, financial instruments, and sales techniques.