Blog, Diversity & Inclusion

Paradigm for Parity: An Action Plan for Gender Equality in Leadership

Paradigm for Parity is a women-led effort to increase organizational recruitment, sponsorship, and mentoring for women executives. Founded by three women: Jewelle Bickford, partner at Evercore Wealth Management; Sandra Beach Lin, former president and CEO of Calisolar; Ellen Kullman, former CEO of Dupont, the goals of the group are to provide thought leadership and an actionable roadmap for change regarding issues of gender parity among senior leadership. 19% of the top executives in corporate America are women. Gender parity in the workplace has been discussed informally and among networking groups, and in the popular media. But working for change on an organizational level has been problematic. Paradigm for Parity has partnered with 27 companies who have publicly agreed to address gender parity as an organizational goal, and to use Paradigm for Parity’s action plan. The action plan is critical, because the pieces all need to work together to accomplish the goal. The action plan includes the following:

  • Minimize or eliminate unconscious bias.
  • Significantly increase the number of women in senior operating 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 and mentors.
A critical piece of an organizational goal for gender parity and other issues of diversity and inclusion among the workforce is transparency and communication about results. Sharing numbers internally about participation, promotion, recruitment, and other commonly measured metrics for diversity keeps this issue in the forefront, and measures progress. Paradigm for Parity hopes to have 50 companies agree to develop organizational goals for gender parity using their action plan by March, 2017. Some companies that have already committed to the plan are The Huffington Post, Cargill, Coca-Cola, LinkedIn, Nordstrom, and Bank of America.