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Time’s up for gender inequality

Time’s up for gender inequality

In today's highly-competitive marketplace, companies cannot afford to miss a great idea or ignore a different perspective. There is no room to waste capabilities or lose top talent. In today's marketplace, diversity of thought is key; it's those that surround themselves with smart people – not likeminded people – that ultimately achieve the greatest successes. For the leaders of tomorrow, the future is inclusive.

While this generation of companies has certainly come a long way over prior generations, achieving that vision will take continued effort and action. It will require a society truly free of bias and gender inequality. It will require rewarding companies where talent is valued regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. It will require a future where boardrooms and management teams more accurately reflect the true makeup of society.

I believe that everyone can – and must – do more to identify and remove the hurdles that can hold women back in the workplace. Companies can put more effort into developing, retaining and compensating female talent and in creating a culture where all viewpoints are encouraged and diversity is valued. This can remove any barrier that stops talent from achieving its full potential.

No matter how successful some organizations are, I do believe there is still much that all leaders can do to continue this positive change.

  • We can help employees remove barriers. A few years ago, I was fortunate to have a conversation with a talented professional who had – just that morning – resigned from our firm. In talking, it quickly became clear that, rather than moving to a better opportunity, she was running from a difficult situation: balancing the obligations of a young family in the suburbs against the demands of work downtown. We quickly came up with a telecommuting alternative that allowed her to remain with the firm while spending more time at home. And, today, she is one of our top new partners.
  • We can start to change behaviors. In my work with our firm and our clients, I am continuously challenging my people to bring new ideas, new talent and new perspectives to the table. I encourage my management team to continue to find unique talent and in doing so to ensure diversity of gender, age or background. I don't shy away from asking difficult questions about team composition. I make every effort to lead by example.
  • We can help press for progress. Our firm has a strong and proud history of advocating for gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness. We do this, not for financial or reputational gain, but rather because we are driven to help organizations and people achieve their full potential. From our KPMG Network of Women (KNOW) initiatives through to our involvement in International Women's Day events, our firm and our professionals are proud of the action we are taking to promote gender equality.
  • We can advance the dialogue. I believe that one of the best ways to increase awareness of an issue is through the sharing of stories, views and perspectives. So, to recognize this International Women's Day, I asked some of our top talent around the world to talk about what diversity, inclusiveness and gender equality means to them. Their stories and perspectives paint a rich picture of the challenges, opportunities and realities influencing this issue around the world. We'll be posting their videos on this page over the coming weeks. I believe they are well worth watching.

This International Women's Day, I encourage all of my colleagues, clients, friends and contacts to consider what they are doing to change the status quo and then I ask them to do even more. I ask them to take personal responsibility for removing any barrier that stops the best talent from rising to the top. I advise them to lead by example, to continuously advocate for change and to help advance the dialogue.

I firmly believe that the greatest success will go to those individuals and companies that recognize that the future is inclusive – those that work to build an environment where diversity is encouraged, equality is celebrated and talent is recognized, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.


This article represents the views of the author(s) only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG LLP.

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