BCG analyzed technology’s potential in aiding companies’ gender diversity efforts and concluded that technology can help in both short-term and long-term ways. In the short term, companies can use technology to support specific types of diversity interventions. Longer term, women who develop expertise in digital will be positioning themselves for leadership roles in the many companies whose success is dependent on their ability to innovate using technology.
Our analysis builds on a wide-ranging survey that BCG conducted into the efforts companies are making to increase gender diversity in their management ranks. (See Getting the Most from Your Diversity Dollars, BCG report, June 2017.) The 2017 survey, of some 17,500 workers in 21 countries, showed that recruitment, retention, and advancement of high-potential women have become first-order priorities for many companies. It also showed that the investments companies are making to get there are often ineffective.
Technology alone isn’t going to usher in a new age of gender parity. But it can support measures that advance the effort—including the reduction of unconscious bias and support for flexible working models. Technology can also be used in professional development. (See the exhibit below.) These are all areas that ranked high for effectiveness in BCG’s survey.