Companies often lament that there are simply not enough qualified talents in the labor market. But: According to the 2021 Advance & HSG Gender Intelligence Report, with 50% women in non-management, companies often already have the diverse talents they need in-house. The problem is that women remain underrepresented at only 17% in top management. This fact is nothing new: The “leaky pipeline,” where women are (nearly) equally represented in non-management and barely represented in leadership positions, has been a fixture in the Gender Intelligence Report every year. In other words: The female talent pool represents unique potential for companies that remains underutilized both to diversify leadership and confront the increasing skilled labor shortage.

But how can companies leverage their in-house diverse talents? One answer: Sustainable talent management, which is conventionally described as attracting, developing, and retaining employees in such a way that they have both the competencies and commitment to ensure the current and future success of the organization. But sustainable talent management goes further – it is about building an inclusive culture where diverse talents with diverse needs feel valued, heard and a sense of belonging. It is about empowering diverse talents so that they can actively shape the (leadership) culture they need to thrive in the long-term. This ensures that an organizational culture where diverse talents can thrive becomes long-term reality.

How can companies get started? The first step is to know where they stand, understanding how diverse their talent pipeline is, how inclusive their talent management practices are. The St.Gallen Diversity Benchmarking allows companies to compare themselves against other companies from the same industry when it comes to analyzing the diversity of their talent pipeline. The benchmarking also makes transparent how diverse the talent is they recruit, promote, and retain. This allows companies to pinpoint, for instance, whether the step from lower to middle management is where women get “lost”, or if women are more likely to advance their careers internally or by “moving out to move up”.

Also, this years’ Advance & HSG Gender Intelligence Report (out in September 2022) focuses on how different industries manage their diverse talent pipelines, providing an ideal starting point for companies’ sustainable talent journey.

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Niedermann e1597216208366

Nicole Niedermann


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