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A business case for diversity in the heart of ‘Brotown’

George Nott | June 5, 2017
Recruitment practices and culture key to inclusion says CA Technologies.

CA recently rolled out generous parental leave benefits, open to fathers and adoptive parents as well as mothers. Earlier this year the company was named one of the best companies to work for LGBT employees in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. CA was one of the first companies in the US to cover same-sex partners in its health insurance. The company's health plan includes coverage for transgender surgery.

 

Less 'rules', more 'roll'

Although the diverse candidate slate and employee benefits are set rules, it's the company's DNA that gets results, says Sayed.

"Having this DNA in place means that people do the right thing without you going and policing it and measuring it," he explains. "Do I want to go and measure business unit by business unit management and assign everybody quotas and drive it this way? I will if I have to. But the good news is people do the right thing because they really believe in these values."

Last year, 13 per cent of senior management hires at CA were multicultural women. In the last two years the company has increased the number of women in technical roles by 14 per cent.

The gender make-up of the company's workforce is far from parity. Women make up 28 per cent of staff globally. The ethnicity of its US employees is 75 per cent white, but getting closer and closer to mirroring the general population, according to the company's own figures publicly released earlier this year.

These figures are about average among the bigger tech corporates. In Australia, IT related industries are among the worst in terms of female representation in the workforce and the disparity in pay between males and females, according to data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

"There's still a lot of work to be done, but we're on the right track," says Conway.

 

Business sense

Like its competitors, CA now sees diversity as a commercial advantage. The evidence is overwhelming. For example, a much cited 2015 McKinsey report found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians. An EY and Peterson Institute for International Economics report from 2016 found companies with 30 per cent or more female leaders had net profit margins up to 6 percentage points higher than companies with no women in the top ranks.

"You are far more likely to achieve the right decision if you have folks people that don't think alike," says Sayed. "It translates to a higher degree of resiliency, better decision making, better business outcomes. It is a business imperative. It's good for the business as simple as that, not just the right thing to do."

 

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