Generations and gender: what does your workforce want?

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“Gen X believe that women need to challenge the status quo, something baby boomers were reluctant to do as they found it was easier and less confrontational to ‘fit in’ to a male construct.”

She added that Gen X women also believe they need to define success on their own terms, which may or may not include combining a career with a family.

Generation Y’s expectations generally involve equality at work and in society, and equal pay.

Diversity in business

“Implementation of gender equality across the globe has been stop-start-stop, ticking off compliance checklists and completing compulsory reporting,” Henry said.

“Real sustainable change has been less forthcoming. Gender diversity programs aren’t enough on their own.

“While they provide the initial start, all too often enthusiasm wanes and old habits resurface. In my view, ‘big, bold’ diversity strategies which are separate to the business strategy may win awards, but unless they are integrated into the business strategy and culture of the organisation, it will never be ‘how we do things around here’.”

She suggested that senior males need to take action, not simply talk about gender equality.

“Small, practical, incremental changes done consistently will create a tipping point until gender is no longer a separate ‘special’ issue.”

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