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Accenture study stresses more inclusive approach to give women sense of belonging

Accenture’s latest “Better to Belong” research highlights the need to further create an inclusive organization where women can thrive in the workplace. The research also found that this “must be at the top of the CEO’s agenda” otherwise the talent gap will only continue to grow.

“Better to Belong” research examined how women’s experiences in the workplace differ, and what companies can do to drive belonging so that women and their organizations can both thrive. Accenture found 29% of women report lower support across the talent lifecycle compared to 26% of men and 20% of women report dissatisfaction with their job compared to 17% of men.

“We found that women are significantly less Net Better Off (NBO) and report less belonging than employees overall, like not feeling respected by peers and not having a senior leader help advance their careers,” the Accenture report stated. “Employers risk losing top talent when women can’t realize their potential at work.”

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NBOs are determined when leaders support women during moments that matter (onboarding, rewards, transferring, life events, leaving—and support them every day, they leave them NBO.

“When women feel NBO at work, their potential can be maximized by 4.7 times,” Accenture said.

Women’s human potential

Leaders leave people NBO by being curious about their unique situations and the external forces (such as economic inequality, racism, and environmental disasters) that shape their work lives.

People who work for companies that leave them NBO show a 1.9 times increase in trust for their company, a 1.7 times increase in job satisfaction, and a 1.6 times increase in believing their organization is a great place to work.

According to the report, this can double the impact of work outcomes.

Leaders have a huge opportunity to increase women’s human potential. When they get the traditional moments that matter right, they can drive up NBO by 3.6 times. When day-to-day experiences are maximized, they can drive up NBO by almost 5 times.

Accenture also developed an NBO Framework and found 10 everyday experience levers to help leaders unlock their people’s full potential.

Accenture’s commitment

The NBO framework measures and brings into focus what inspires workers’ potential. The six dimensions of the NBO framework are: Emotional and Mental, Relational, Physical, Employable, Financial, and Purposeful. The 10 everyday experience levers that leaders must get right are empowerment, communication, diversity, customer-centric, skilling, dependence, governance, technology, Self-efficacy and Growth mindset.

Empowerment, communication, diversity, and customer-centric are the people skills that are considered essential.

“Accenture is strongly committed to cultivating a culture of equality and creating an inclusive organization where women feel they belong, can advance, and thrive,” said Ambe Tierro, technology lead, Accenture in the Philippines, Africa and Asia Pacific. “We support them at all stages of their careers in the company and make sure that we engage in open, honest and meaningful conversations. By doing so, we empower the women in the organization to take charge of their careers and inspire other women to do the same.”

The company has set bold goals to accelerate gender equality across its operations globally. Accenture is working to achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025. This means, a workforce that is equally 50% women and 50% men for those whose gender is binary. In the Philippines, Accenture has already surpassed this goal with women making up more than half of the organization as of the fiscal year 2021.