Parity Support

Why do we support Parity

Dazzle Social Media was founded by a Brazilian woman with the help of a dedicated male entrepreneur and investor. We want to motivate and encourage businesses around USA and eventually the world to understand that man and women working together generates even better results, we know that for a fact. We want to decrease the gender gap, we want to bring equality.

To Learn more visit: parity.org

INFORMATION EMBARGOED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 8 am ET

Parity.org—FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Parity.org and how did it start?

Parity.org is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to closing the gender gap at the highest levels of business—the executive team (C-Suite) and the Board of Directors. Founder, Cathrin Stickney, has been quietly advocating for gender parity her entire career in the corporate business environment. Finally, when studies came out that it would take more than 100 years to reach gender parity at the executive levels in business, she realized she had to do something. She and a group of dedicated companies and individuals joined together to form Parity.org.

What is Parity’s approach? 

Parity.org’s approach is for a “representative slate” — that is a slate of candidates that reflects the population. Parity.org asks that companies interview at least one qualified female candidate for every open role, VP and higher including the C-Suite and the Board. That’s it. No quotas. No deadlines.

Who can take the ParityPledgeTM?

Companies can make the commitment to take the ParityPledge—it can be the CEO or his or her representative, usually the CHRO and/or Chief Diversity Officer. Parity.org asks interested individuals to join as a member of Parity.org or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. #paritypledge  @parity.org  https://www.parity.org

There are so many gender parity/diversity organizations and voices – why do we need one more?

Many companies focus on gender parity to provide solutions for how to achieve parity—they have great toolkits to help build effective diversity and inclusion programs or they have tools to connect board recruiters. Some have goals or quotas to drive the change. Parity.org considers these companies its partners in achieving the objective of closing the gender gap at senior levels.

Parity.org is different, it’s a commitment. It’s a public commitment that has proven to work to change the face of senior management. It’s powerful to publicly commit to something, to then do it and become a role model for change in others. There’s a snowball effect Parity.org hopes to achieve—for every company that signs up, they know 10 more will follow their lead.

Why does this matter to you personally? 

Almost every businesswoman Parity.org interviewed has at least one story to tell about how she was either subtly or blatantly discriminated against in the workplace because she was a woman. The approach that founder Cathrin Stickney and others have taken over the years to help one woman at a time move up the career ladder, will not drive change fast enough. If progress is to be made, there needs to be a much larger scale effort to help all women, of all races and ethnic backgrounds, rise to the top of their potential.

How long do you think it will take before we have gender equality at the top ranks of business? 

The World Economic Forum has studied this. They say, at this pace, it will take another 117 years til we reach parity. Parity.org hopes to see faster, exponential change as more and more companies join and make take the ParityPledge.

Why has it been so hard to achieve?  What needs to change?

The answer is complicated—it’s a mix of things that seem to collude to exclude women—it’s cultural norms, attitudes and, candidly, competition for the very few seats at the top.

What are the benefits of having more women in the executive suite?

There are many studies that show a benefit to the bottom line when women make up at least 22% of the executive suite or the Board. Parity.org believes and will be testing that there is also an intrinsic value-add for employees and their families.

Why is gender parity any different or more important than the struggle of minorities to gain traction in their careers?

Gender parity isn’t a diversity issue per se, even though conventional wisdom combines gender with minority causes of race, ethnicity and inclusion issues. Women as a class are not a minority, in fact they have a slight majority in this country. What they have is, like minority groups, an under-representation problem. Companies can create a diverse slate and still have zero women on their executive team or board or even down into the lower ranks.  Parity.org advocates for solving the gender gap by using a slate of qualified, diverse women candidates.

What’s your strategy to bring along companies that are resistant to change?

There are three types of companies that Parity.org approaches—there are leaders that show the way and the know they are role models for others; there are followers that wait to see what others are doing before they jump in; and there are those that choose to go it alone. Parity.org is looking for leaders who want to be role models for others to follow—in all types of companies — and fully support however they choose to get to a commitment to gender parity.

What is your goal? How will you measure success?

Signing up companies is a means to an end. Parity.org’s end goal is to significantly improve, in our lifetime, the percentage of women at the highest levels of business. Parity.org believes a simple public commitment to do so is the easiest, most effective way to do that. The organization intends to measure change, year over year, promote that which is positive in those companies that take the pledge, and compare results to companies that didn’t.

You don’t set quota’s, why not?

Parity.org doesn’t set a quota because all companies are different and get to a solution in different ways and time frames. As seats open up on the executive team and the board–which may not open up for a year or two—Parity.org only asks that companies interview at least one qualified woman for each of those roles. And to help fill the internal pipeline for the C-Suite, Parity.org asks companies to interview at least one woman for each open VP role and above.

Isn’t there a real pipeline problem with fewer women in the workforce because of choices they make along their career path, e.g., to stay home to raise their children?

We still live in a society where women carry the biggest brunt of household and child raising duties.  There are pay equity issues and childcare is expensive. These are real issues for women who want to rise in an organization.  Company programs that address these issues are key to leveling the playing field for women. Despite these hurdles, Parity.org doesn’t believe there is a pipeline issue at the very top—for the one or two seats that open up in a given year. For these top positions, company executives need to challenge their executive and board recruiters to bring them qualified female candidates—from inside and outside of the organization, of all race and ethnic backgrounds.

What is the most common pushback you hear from companies?

Our greatest pushback has been, “we already have a robust diversity program in house for all of our employees including minorities and women. We don’t need this.”  These are exactly the companies Parity.org wants to work with. Parity.org wants them to sign the ParityPledge, making a public statement about what they are already doing—so that they can be a role model for others. Sharing their best practices in building gender parity, diversity and inclusion, is an impactful way to influence a wider audience. And we want to help them make an even greater impact at the very top of their organization.

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