The most important thing about the steps we take on the path to gender parity is that women take them together. When Paradigm for Parity strategized for how to create the conditions for equitable change in corporate culture, we anchored our thinking in our 5-Point Action Plan and grounded our approach in partnership and collaboration.
The result of that vision is the Center for Action. The Center for Action joins Paradigm for Parity with four launch partners to offer an unprecedented new resource hub, designed to help companies put our 5-Point Plan into action. Paradigm for Parity coalition member companies now have a growing one-stop center where they get customized programs, exclusive consultative opportunities, or cost savings on an essential suite of services and opportunities that accelerate progress in advancing women across all levels of business leadership and ensuring that progress is sustainable. (If your company isn’t a member, click here to find out how you can become one!)
Women have made hard-earned gains in the workplace over time. There have been improvements in pay parity, leadership representation, benefits, and work-life balance. Still, that progress remains fragile, and its rate has slowed. The problem is especially significant at the managerial and directorial levels — those critical “middle rungs” in career development — where women’s representation has increased by only three and four percentage points, respectively, according to McKinsey’s 2023 Women in the Workplace report (conducted in partnership with LeanIn.Org). The numbers are even smaller among women of color. “Until companies address this inequity head-on,” the report concludes, “women of color will remain severely underrepresented in leadership positions — and mostly absent from the C-suite.”
“I think it’s widely understood that advancing parity means investing our energy and resources in developing and empowering young women who are just starting out,” says Sandra Quince, CEO of Paradigm for Parity.
“We also know that we must do everything we can to support great women leaders who have risen to the top of their professions and industries, because diverse representation in leadership is a powerful driver of parity. But it can be easy to overlook that most women are somewhere in the middle of the path, and it’s critically important to do everything we can to help them advance.” — Sandra Quince, CEO of Paradigm for Parity
In order to foster mid-career development and growth, and ensure better retention among women in their workplaces, it’s vitally important that we shore up that broken middle rung. That’s why Paradigm for Parity is thrilled to have TONE Networks as a launch partner in the Center for Action. TONE Networks is a proven, practical and cost-effective online micro-coaching and mentoring platform designed to connect, grow and retain early to mid-career employees at scale. TONE advances early to mid-career employees through on-demand mentoring support, develops underrepresented communities including women, people of color and allies, advocates and sponsors, and supports and connects internal communities and Employee Resource Groups. They also frequently share information and thought leadership on their blog, including a collection of recent posts on workplace wellness, the benefits of professional coaching, and tips for ERG leaders.
With its range of services and its powerful community of experts, TONE connects with multiple points of Paradigm for Parity’s Five-Point Action Plan:
- TONE’s easy-access, continuous mentoring and coaching platform speaks to identifying women of potential and giving them mentors.
- TONE’s commitment to fostering cultures of inclusion and belonging in workplace cultures helps minimize or eliminate unconscious bias.
- TONE’s commitment to data and metrics that track behavioral data and employee sentiment support our Plan’s goal to measure targets at every level and communicate progress and results regularly.
- TONE’s proven success in helping companies and organizations retain employees helps advance women in their jobs, leading to significant increases in the number of women in senior operational roles.
“Mid-career mentorship is a key to help women meet increasing challenges — at work and at home,” Sandra Quince says, “and to help ensure that they don’t end up plateauing in their current roles. We’ve got to continue to nurture and lift up the millions of women who have already worked hard to rise and need reinforcements to rise even higher. That’s exactly what TONE Network does, and they couldn’t be a more perfect Center for Action launch partner.”
Gemma Toner, Founder & CEO of TONE Networks, says:
“By working together, we can continue to take proactive action to level the playing field by scaling and reaching as many women as possible. TONE’s micro-coaching and mentoring platform is a practical and proven solution for engaging, developing and retaining women in the workplace.”
About the Center for Action
The Center for Action is Paradigm for Parity’s new resource hub for companies to accelerate their progress on the 5-Point Action Plan to advance women across all levels of business leadership. The Center for Action is a one-stop location that joins Paradigm for Parity together with four curated launch partners who share and pursue essential goals and strategies in corporate culture: strong Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programs and practices, gender parity, and equitable leadership development and support.
The Center for Action brings relevant, powerful new partnerships to extend and support Paradigm for Parity’s Five-Point Action Plan:
- Minimize or eliminate unconscious bias
- Significantly increase the number of women in senior operational roles
- Measure targets at every level and communicate progress and results regularly
- Base career progress on business results and performance, not presence
- Identify women of potential and give them sponsors, as well as mentors
Through the Center for Action, coalition members of Paradigm for Parity will have unique opportunities with a powerful consortium of partners that in addition to TONE Networks, includes LiveGirl, AceUp, and Linkage, a SHRM company.
For more information about the Center for Action and how to become a member of Paradigm for Parity visit https://paradigm4parity.org/center-for-action/.