Paradigm for Parity® Coalition Makes Significant Strides on Three-Year Anniversary (Part 2)

To celebrate the third anniversary of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, we applaud the 112 companies and CEOs who have signed our pledge to make cultural changes to close the gender gap in corporate leadership. We are so proud to say that our coalition companies employ more than 6.1 million workers worldwide from 28 industries, including technology, health care, food service, retail and financial services.

Companies must enact significant changes to give all women the opportunity to succeed and close the gender gap in corporate leadership. To help companies to close the gap, we’ve developed a 5-Point Action Plan, a set of specific actions that, when concurrently implemented, guides companies on the steps they can take to elevate women of all races, cultures, and backgrounds.

To mark the Paradigm for Parity® coalition’s three-year anniversary, we asked our member companies to share progress on their journey to gender parity, discuss lessons learned and explain how they are putting the coalition’s 5-Point Action Plan into practice to ensure women and men have equal power, status and opportunity in the workplace. This is the second part of our two-part series, featuring how companies are putting Steps 3, 4 and 5 of the Action Plan into practice.

Step 3: Measure Targets at Every Level and Communicate Progress and Results Regularly.

Steve Rendle, Chairman, President & CEO at VF: “Through our commitment to and partnership with the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, we continue to take deliberate action to foster a culture that emphasizes and leverages equality and inclusion across our organization. Our progress includes leaders who have created measurable goals and action plans for inclusion and diversity. We also applied our commitment at the highest level of our company — our Board of Directors — increasing the number of women serving on our board from two to four, which represents 36 percent of our board’s composition. And our employee resource groups, which consist of 82 percent women, play an important role within our organization to help build an inclusive culture and provide opportunities for associates to connect with each other and create a sense of community within VF.”

Robin Ferracone, Chief Executive Officer, Farient Advisors said: “Given that Farient was founded by a woman [Robin Ferracone] we have always been mindful of sponsoring females in our organization. Paradigm for Parity has taken our mindfulness to a higher level in the following two ways: (1) we now measure the number of women and men in each role at Farient and share this with prospects and internally; and (2) we have formally earned certification as a woman-owned, operated, controlled business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. We proudly communicate this certification in our market and recruiting programs. We want to thank the Paradigm for Parity® coalition for bringing this new level of awareness to Farient and those with whom we do business.”

Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and HR Officer at Accenture said: “Setting targets has been an essential part of our progress at Accenture. To be most effective, the targets should be published externally and results must be transparent and measured with the same rigor as other business critical metrics. They must be set where action is most impactful and leaders should be supported to understand and influence the levers they control to move the dial. It is this diligence and accountability that was instrumental in our achievement of 44 percent women this year, in pursuit of our goal to become a gender-balanced workforce by 2025.”

Jacqueline Trapp, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Edison International and Southern California Edison said: “Having measurable targets keeps everyone at Edison International accountable and aware. To close the gender gap, one of our corporate goals includes increasing overall diversity of our leadership and executive positions. Since joining the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, we are proud to report that we have nearly 3 percent more females in these positions, and we’re continuing to work on ways to improve this further.”

Tina Sandford, Head of HR Operations, Policy & Projects at Silicon Valley Bank said: “Measuring our workforce diversity and communicating progress toward our goals have been key elements of Silicon Valley Bank’s journey toward achieving gender parity in leadership. As a company we work diligently to attract and develop employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Setting and sharing goals and progress keep us accountable and committed to fostering an environment that enables all employees to be successful.”

Michelle Murphy, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion and Global Talent Acquisition at Ingersoll Rand said: “As a member of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, Ingersoll Rand is committed to achieve gender parity within our company. In efforts to ensure we reach our 2030 goal of full gender parity in our corporate leadership structure, we have taken a strategic approach to enhance inclusion and diversity among our workforce. A core component of our success is the way we measure and track progress toward our goals which is in line with the coalition’s third action step — Measure Targets at Every Level and Communicate Progress and Results Regularly. Since announcing our commitment to the coalition, we have established and defined these goals throughout each business unit and function within the company. Regular check-ins are held with senior leaders to track progress toward these goals and identify opportunities for improvement. Our multifaceted approach to achieving gender parity also includes programs and learning experiences for high-performing women within our company, an increased commitment to diverse recruiting using professional organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and professional ‘returnship’ programs such as ReLaunch, ensuring women have the support and resources they need to succeed once re-entering the workforce.”

Step 4: Base Career Progress on Business Results and Performance, Not on Presence.

Jenifer Denby, Inclusion and Diversity Manager at Willis Towers Watson said: “At Willis Towers Watson we actively foster flexibility in the workplace. Whenever business and client demands allow, we look for creative ways to help our colleagues more effectively blend work and personal life. By offering flexibility in how and where work is done, and basing career progress on contribution and performance — not on presence in the office — we are encouraging our people to do their best work, be most productive and help us achieve our business goals.”

Olivia Graham, Associate Director at Cheer Partners said: “Millennials thrive in working environments that evolve as our skills and experiences do. Having worked from home for over a year now, I can say that my personal workspace has existed in several different forms. Each allowed for me to deliver my best work without taking away from what best supports my colleagues. We stay connected virtually while, existing individually in our spaces that support growth and productivity.”

Step 5: Identify Women of Potential and Give Them Sponsors, as well as Mentors.

Helene Ziv, Risk Management and Sourcing Director of Cargill Animal Nutrition and Health at Cargill said: “Our sponsorship program is one way we’re helping remove barriers for female leaders. Executive sponsorship and advocacy for women in leadership pushes the organization to move fast, take risks and empower female leaders to thrive at Cargill. And that is one critical way we will move toward our aspiration of full parity in leadership positions globally by 2030,” said. “Female leaders also need to feel empowered to define their careers. As a sponsor, I encourage women to seek out growth opportunities — don’t wait, identify a need and say yes to the challenge.”

We commend the 112 companies that are working to close the gender gap in corporate leadership and value their ongoing partnership in achieving our mission. In the years ahead we look forward to many more companies joining the Paradigm for Parity® coalition and increasing the number of women in leadership positions.




The Paradigm for Parity® movement is a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the leadership gender gap in corporate America.

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Paradigm for Parity

Paradigm for Parity

The Paradigm for Parity® movement is a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the leadership gender gap in corporate America.

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