Cutting the gap by half would boost global profits by US$3.7 trillion, with a leading potential of US$1.35 trillion in Asia-Pacific, along with workforce ambition and empowerment
JAKARTA; March 12, 2020—A significant gap exists between the way leaders and employees view progress toward equality in their organizations, according to new research from Accenture. Closing the gap will yield substantial benefits for companies and their employees.
The report, "Getting to Equal 2020: The Hidden Value of Culture Makers," which includes research across 28 countries including Indonesia, found that organizations are at an inflection point: Today’s Indonesia workforce cares increasingly about workplace culture and believes it is critical to helping them thrive in the workplace (reported 88% of women and 86% men), and a majority of leaders (86%) believe an inclusive workplace culture is vital to the success of their business.
At the same time, there is a perception gap: 71% of leaders in Indonesia feel they create empowering environments where people have a sense of belonging, yet just 45% of employees agree. Additionally, the proportion of global employees who do not feel included in their organizations is 10x higher than leaders believe (2% v 20% respectively). In contrast, no leaders in Indonesia believe their employees feel ‘not at all included’ in the workplace, but 25% of employees disagree.
"Although the perception gap between the way leaders and employees in Indonesia view progress towards equality in their workplace is lower than global findings, more needs to be done to close the perception gap and build workplace cultures where more people feel like they belong. Leaders should solicit meaningful and continuous dialogue with employees to help capture feedback and empower leadership to quickly drive change," said Debby Alishinta, Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Managing Director, Accenture in Indonesia.
Most leaders in Indonesia also rank diversity and workplace culture low on their list of top organizational priorities. Approximately three-quarters of leaders ranked financial performance and brand recognition and quality at the top of their list of priorities (80% and 72% respectively), while only 34% ranked diversity and 30% ranked culture at the top."
"Creating a culture of equality must be at the top of the business agenda. It starts with the belief that diversity is not only the right thing to do, but a business imperative that is treated the same as any other strategic priority," said Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture "When a strong, equal workplace culture is prioritized, everyone benefits—and as a result, organizations unlock greater innovation and growth."
Narrow the gap, accelerate progress
Aligning leaders’ perceptions with those of their employees would yield huge upsides. Everyone—both women and men—would advance faster, and organizations would see an estimated US$3.7 trillion (US$1.35 trillion in Asia-Pacific) increase in global profits.
If the gap were closed by half:
- The proportion of women in Indonesia who feel like a key member of their team with real influence over decisions would rise from 1-in-8 to more than 1-in-3.
- The annual global retention rate would increase by 5% for women and by 1% for men.
- The global proportion of women who aim to reach a leadership position in their organization would climb by 21%.
The research is especially timely for leaders, as employee expectations are only set to increase: It found that a larger percentage of Gen Z is more concerned with workplace culture than Boomers (75% vs. 64%, respectively).
The Culture Makers
The report identified a small percentage of leaders—'Culture Makers'—who are more committed to building equal cultures. These leaders recognise the importance of factors such as pay transparency, family leave and the freedom to be creative in helping employees thrive.
Globally, culture Makers are much more likely to have spoken out on a range of workplace issues, including gender equality (52% vs. 35% of all leaders) and sexual harassment/discrimination (51% vs. 30%). They hold themselves accountable, leading organisations that are nearly twice as likely to have publicly announced a target to hire and retain more women.
While just 6% of global leaders surveyed are Culture Makers, they represent a more gender-balanced group compared to the broader group of leaders surveyed (45% women vs 32% of all leaders, respectively). Additionally, a full 68% of them are Millennials, compared to 59% of all leaders. They are more likely to lead organizations where people are advancing, innovative and committed – and their organizations’ profits are nearly three times higher than those of their peers.
Achieving a culture of equality
The report lays out steps to help close perception gaps and drive progress toward a more equal culture that benefits everyone and enables leaders to continuously evolve their strategies to meet changing needs.
The research reaffirms that bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment are proven anchors for creating a culture of equality:
- Bold Leadership – Leaders must truly believe that culture matters and prioritize it. For example, benchmark progress toward a culture of equality by setting and publishing targets; and reward and recognize leaders and teams on progress. A culture of equality starts at the top.
- Comprehensive Action – Go beyond the data. Leaders should solicit meaningful, continuous dialogue with employees. Consider face-to-face meetings, focus groups, town halls. Additionally, ongoing, real-time conversations with employees help capture feedback and empower leadership to quickly drive change.
- Empowering Environment – Encourage and cultivate Culture Makers. Create opportunities for future Culture Makers to opt-in and take on specific culture-related roles within their organizations and find ways to bring leaders and culture-minded employees together to develop specific, actionable solutions.
Read the global report at: accenture.com/gettingtoequal
Building on previous Accenture research that has explored how to build a workplace culture of equality and the benefits for organizations and employees, the report is based on a global survey of more than 30,000 professionals in 28 countries including Indonesia; a survey of more than 1,700 senior executives; and a model that combines employee survey results with published labor force data. Accenture leveraged it’s Getting to Equal research from 2018 and 2019 to create new data and analysis using three steps: quantifying the perception gap, measuring the impact of the perception gap on employee outcomes, and measuring the impact of closing the perception gap.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries – powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 505,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
Contact for more information:
Accenture in Indonesia
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