How One Recent Article Inspired us to Speak Up and Spark Change in the Industry
By Heather Sandusky, VP of Training; Marilyn Soares, VP of Client Services; Natalie Dickey, VP of Finance
The President of the Global Services Association of Jamaica, Anand Biradaris of the belief that over the next five to ten years, more women will take top jobs in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
According to Biradar, out of 60,000 outsourced employees in Jamaica, 70% are women but that’s not reflected in leadership roles; Biradar shares that in the Jamaican BPO sector only 20% of executive management positions are held by women.
At Transparent BPO’s recently opened Angels, St. Catherine, Jamaica site we’re proud to report that 54% of our leadership positions are held by women and our average across all three of our markets (Belize, Jamaica and Philippines) is 65% of women.
The industry as a whole needs to change, though, and Transparent BPO is leading the charge with our new employee resource program WE3: Empower, Engage, Encourage.
Through this program, we identified challenges that have typically kept women underrepresented in leadership roles and ways that organizations can overcome these challenges; and we’ll share some of our learnings with you!
1. The Problem: Women are Underrepresented in Leadership Roles
As mentioned above with the BPO industry statistics from Jamaica, there is a clear problem when it comes to the representation of women in leadership roles. This lack of women’s representation is not due to a lack of qualified women, but rather due to systemic barriers that prevent women from advancing into leadership roles.
2. The Impact of Gender Bias
One of the main reasons why women are historically underrepresented in leadership roles is due to gender bias. This refers to the unconscious biases that many have about men and women. These biases can impact our decision-making, and have often led people to believe that men are better suited for leadership roles than women—which we can assure you, as three female Vice Presidents, that is not the case!
3. The Importance of Diversity
So at this point, we’ve identified a. there is a problem, and b. one of the main culprits for that problem. Now, why is it important that this problem is solved? Simply put diversity in leadership roles to create an environment that is inclusive of all voices.
When there is diversity in leadership, different perspectives and experiences can be brought to the table, which can lead to better decision-making—it can propel your company forward, like Transparent BPO who was just named an IAOP Leader in the Global Outsourcing 100 and always makes the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies list. A diverse team will help improve creativity and innovation within an organization.
4. Steps That Can Be Taken to Improve Women’s Representation in Leadership Roles
There are a number of steps that can be taken in order to improve women’s representation in leadership roles. Some of these steps include:
- Providing training on unconscious bias for those who are involved in hiring and promotion decisions
- Promoting an environment of safe and open communication
- Creating mentorship and sponsorship programs
- Investing in employee resource groups for women
There’s no reason why creating a more diversified, equitable and inclusive leadership level in the BPO industry should take five to ten years. Real change can be made now, and it will benefit your business…and the world.