2. Gain leadership commitment

Once you have developed the business case, explain the benefits to your leadership team.

The executive leadership group will decide whether developing a gender equality strategy is a priority for the organisation. For a successful strategy, leadership commitment and ownership will be crucial from the beginning of the process. You will need their support and input when it comes to developing your organisation’s vision for gender equality.

Once the strategy begins to be rolled out, leaders at all levels, from the board, the CEO and senior leaders will need to commit to the strategy and actively engage not just all employees, but also clients and suppliers, such as recruiters.

Leadership commitment is also crucial to enable adequate resourcing of time, personnel and financial investment.

Use these points as guidance for proposals, papers or conversations aimed at securing leadership commitment:

  • Find out what objectives the board, CEO or senior leaders would like to achieve and in what time frame
  • Help leadership understand the different ways to measure gender equality progress in the workplace – metrics, data and indicators, which measure and compare changes – and help leadership define which of these best align with organisational objectives
  • So that your business case is clear, be specific about resourcing requirements – outline what human and financial resources you will need and what time frames are realistic for the execution and the alignment of the strategy with overall business and people strategies.

Your leaders should be the core champions of gender equality in your organisation. They can help you maintain buy-in within the leadership group, throughout your organisation and among external stakeholders. Your leadership should:

  • be vocal about your organisation’s business case for gender equality – internally and externally
  • act on their own needs for flexibility at work and role model this for others
  • bring gender equality considerations to the forefront of leaders’ discussions on talent, promotions, remuneration and structural changes
  • foster ongoing understanding and capacity to communicate the metrics (representation, recruitment, exits, promotions, pay equity) and other data that relates to gender equality initiatives
  • articulate how the organisation is tracking on gender equality compared to others in the same industry or of the same size using the WGEA Competitor Analysis Benchmark Reports and the Data Explorer.

It is a good idea to start talking to leaders about resourcing for action on gender equality early in the process. You will know more about your resource requirements as you make more progress towards a fully developed strategy.