Using modern approaches in the workplace to remove barriers facing women is critical to expanding talent pools and improving economies, according to a new ManpowerGroup survey.
Although one-third of employers are experiencing talent shortages, women are the greatest underleveraged source of talent globally, the survey finds. The International Labor Organization reveals that roughly half of working-age women are not active in the formal global economy while only 15.7 percent of Fortune 500 companies have women in board seats.
"What companies are offering women is clearly not what women want,” says Mara Swan, executive vice president of ManpowerGroup. “There needs to be a shift toward work models that better provide women the flexibility they are looking for so that the percentage of women in the work force does not drop off at every sorting of talent. We also need to focus on strategic ways to reintegrate women who temporarily leave the work force to raise families."
ManpowerGroup, which has women as 70 percent of its world leaders, has made an effort to offer employment opportunities for women inside and outside of the company. For example, ManpowerGroup created a unit in France that trains and recruits women for an energy company lacking skilled electricians. In Hong Kong, ManpowerGroup launched a staffing initiative to recruit unemployed and underskilled women for support positions in public libraries.
"Companies need to value the diversity of thought, perspective and experience in order to unleash the potential of all of their people, regardless of gender or generation, to nurture innovation and productivity," says Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup.