Content Sponsored by Aflac
Gender diversity in the workplace isn't just the right thing to do. It's also the smart thing to do.
More women in leadership roles can lead to higher profits--it's that simple.
In fact, there have been a number of recent studies pointing to the business and cultural benefits of gender diversity.
Studies have found that companies with more women on their executive teams have better financial performance. This confirms what the team at Aflac has known for decades: There are business advantages to having more women in leadership positions. Aflac understands the value of diversity in the workplace. After all, Aflac doesn't just talk the talk; it walks it: Two-thirds of Aflac's workforce are female. Nearly one-third of Aflac's executive leadership are women.1
Aflac knows that the most successful businesses are looking for ways to compete for top-tier female talent. How do you find them? Pay is important, but the right benefits package can be just as compelling.
Flex time, parental leave, child care, health care, and work-from-home options are popular, especially among women.
Aflac helps companies of all sizes build flexible benefit packages--offering voluntary insurance and value-added services. These benefits can be particularly attractive to women and any employee who is caring for a family.
"Give the gift of time to accommodate all caregivers, whether they're women or men," suggests Brenda Mullins, VP of HR and chief people officer for Aflac.
One way to give employees the gift of time is to have onsite child care for employees who are raising a family. Aflac has two onsite centers at its headquarters. It also has a gym for time-starved caregivers.
"As a young mother, it was amazing to work at Aflac," says Jamie Lee, SVP and chief service officer. "They had child care onsite. They had a gym onsite. I could drop my child off on my way to work, run to the gym, get in a workout and not feel like I'd let anyone down."
Right-Size Benefits for Every Size Enterprise
Of course, not every business can afford this kind of approach--smaller businesses might instead coordinate an employee discount at a local gym.
"All caretakers must look at all of the health and financial protection benefits available to us," Mullins adds. "We have to make sure we don't put our family in a financial bind if something happens."
After offering major medical insurance for employees, another attractive option for small businesses is employee-paid voluntary insurance benefits.
"Cost is always a consideration, especially when a company is small and growing," Mullins says. "Once a company provides employees with primary health insurance, adding voluntary benefits like accident, cancer, and disability insurance is a cost-effective way to extend offerings without adding to the employer's costs, because participation is employee-paid."
Aflac has the technology and carrier partnerships to support small businesses in providing flexible plans like these to attract and retain top talent.
Every small business can benefit from good benefits, as Susan Droege, a small-business owner discovered when she was diagnosed with cancer. "When the recession hit, I considered dropping my cancer insurance policy, but my husband recommended not to because we'd just lost a dear friend to cancer. I am so thankful we had that policy."
Leadership Smarts in 5 Easy Steps
In an Aflac career that has spanned 28 years, Jamie Lee has benefited from numerous mentors as she steadily progressed up the corporate ladder.
Today, as Aflac's SVP and chief service officer, she holds a major role in the company, leading a team of 2,600 people across Aflac's core operations.
"It's such an incredible honor to work at Aflac because of our focus on women in leadership and on diversity across the board. There's a reason that we show up on best places to work lists--and women in C-level positions across the organization are a big part of that. It's very encouraging to women."
For women just starting out in business, she offers her leadership smarts in five easy steps:
- Keep your focus. The most important job is the one you have.
- Grow in your role. There's value to being in the slow cooker. You can't microwave yourself as a leader. Soak and marinate in the role that you're in.
- Earn your way. Let your performance speak for itself. Don't force your way up the corporate ladder.
- Relationships first, results second. Results come easier and quicker to a person who values relationships.
- Keep perspective. You're a human, then a mother, sister, and wife. Career may be a big part of who you are, but it shouldn't define you completely.
1 Aflac Workforce Census, Diversity Statistics (2018)
This article is for informational purposes only. Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.