A joint initiative by Mazars and the Observatory for Gender Balance

Many companies implement multiple gender diversity measures, yet still fail to generate the change they want. Indeed, when it comes to gender diversity, more measures do not necessarily mean better results: companies today need to know if they are implementing the “right” actions – those which have been proven to deliver results and drive progress.

Members of the French think tank the Observatory for Gender Balance have worked together to identify six measures proven to effectively accelerate corporate gender diversity. Mazars – a partner of the Observatory – co-developed this self-assessment questionnaire to give CEOs a practical tool to quickly assess if their company has implemented the “six measures that work”. This questionnaire also helps CEOs identify potential gaps and the areas in their gender-diversity programmes that need the most attention.

This self-assessment tool is also featured in the latest edition of the Observatory for Gender Balance Green Paper.

The development of this tool was led by Cécile Kossoff, Global Leader for Diversity and Inclusion at Mazars Group, and produced in collaboration with the Observatory for Gender Balance under the coordination of Marie-Christine Maheas, and with the exceptional contribution of Dr. Rohini Anand, former SVP Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer at Sodexo and Senior Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisor at Rohini Anand LLC.

The opportunity for a constructive dialogue with different stakeholders

We invite the leaders of businesses of all sizes and sectors to complete this self-assessment, individually or in collaboration with their HR manager, and/or their head of diversity, and/or their diversity network if any. This questionnaire highlights all the actions they need to consider if they want to successfully implement each of the six measures recommended by the Observatory for Gender Balance. It will also help them identify the right actions needed to take to build, or complement, their gender diversity roadmaps in order to create sustainable results.

Read more about the Observatory for Gender Balance

Gender diversity checklist

Measure 1 of 6

Please rate the level of implementation for the following actions with a rating of 1 to 5. One meaning that they are not at all implemented and five meaning that they are fully implemented within your company/organisation.

Measure #1: Demonstrate strong personal commitment from the CEO
1

Make gender diversity a visible component of the organisation's strategy and business plan

  • 1. Gender diversity is included as an objective in the strategic plan, with a clear timeline.

    (e.g. over 1-3-5 years)
  • 2. The management committee has validated a clear action plan for gender diversity, including people responsible for its execution, and regularly monitored progress.

  • 3. Each business line, division, or role is required to submit a gender diversity strategy accompanied by an action plan.

  • 4. Gender diversity is included in our values and our code of conduct.

  • 5. The vision and strategy for gender diversity are formally communicated to all employees.

    (e.g. at seminars or general meetings, in newsletters, internal memos, etc.)
2

The CEO must lead by example

  • 6. My team and I are leading by example in inclusive leadership: we refuse to participate in all-male roundtables, we use inclusive and equal terminology, we are considerate of meeting schedules, and we take care to give women the floor in meetings, etc.

  • 7. My team and I feel responsible and take appropriate action in the event of any anti-inclusive behaviour within the leadership team.

    (i.e. inappropriate language or behaviour).
  • 8. My team and I personally support women (with high potential), for example, acting as sponsors by explicitly advocating for their nomination and ensuring that they are in the promotion pools for senior positions.

  • 9. I nominated a woman as one of the latest appointments to my management team, and if not, I could justify my choice objectively.

  • 10. My management team and I are personally involved (as sponsors) in an internal initiative or network promoting gender diversity.

3

Appointment of a senior executive to drive gender diversity

  • 11. My company has appointed a full-time senior executive to lead gender diversity.

    (can be adjusted based on company size)
  • 12. He or she reports to the CEO.

4

Allocation of an appropriate budget

  • 13. The Diversity Manager has a dedicated team to help make this change happen.

  • 14. We have dedicated enough resources to support our ambition in terms of gender diversity, in line with the size of my organisation and the scale of the changes to be made.

5

Gender diversity is regularly on the Board of Directors/Executive Committee’s agenda

  • 15. We regularly monitor and measure the results of our gender diversity programmes and monitor the evolution of our KPIs in this area.

  • 16. Gender diversity is regularly on the agenda of management committees and we devote sufficient time to discussing progress.

6

Implementation of training/awareness programmes for management and teams

  • 17. My management team and I participate in at least one training session on gender diversity or inclusion every year.

    (e.g. face-to-face training, benchmarking sessions with other companies and two-way mentoring)
  • 18. Our first priority was to make the management committee aware of discrimination and unconscious bias issues.

7

Gender diversity has a devoted section in all internal publications and external reports

  • 19. We communicate on gender diversity and uphold our support of performance indicators in our organisation’s internal and external reports.

    (e.g. newsletters, annual reports, CSR reports)
8

Internal and external communication from the CEO

  • 20. As CEO, I personally and publicly advocate for gender diversity by expressing myself both internally (e.g. in general meetings, newsletters, and events) and externally (e.g. in forums, conferences and on social networks)

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Gender diversity checklist

Measure 2 of 6

Please rate the level of implementation for the following actions with a rating of 1 to 5. One meaning that they are not at all implemented and five meaning that they are fully implemented within your company/organisation.

Measure #2: Achieve a broad-based permanent shift to a more welcoming, inclusive corporate culture
1

Understand the barriers to gender diversity in your company

  • 21. My management team and I are aware of the stereotypes and barriers that women tend to impose on themselves, such as reluctance to seek a promotion, the need to justify 100% of the required qualifications, etc.

  • 22. We carried out an analysis of the organisation’s current situation to identify the barriers to gender diversity (e.g. cultural, organisational, and personal barriers).

    (See question #33 – 34 and Appendix 1)
  • 23. We have identified stereotypes that hinder the advancement of women of equal ability within our organisation.

    (e.g. leadership styles, penalising motherhood)
2

Develop a solid case and communicate it to all levels

  • 24. We analysed our internal data and compared it with the data and practices of other organisations to develop a well-founded and solid internal case for gender diversity, in line with our business and our mission.

  • 25. We outlined the reasons for change based on our business case study: shared a compelling and fact-based argumentation, e.g. highlighting the better performance of our more gender-diverse divisions or the benefits and imperatives for clients, for business development, and for talent attraction and retention.

  • 26. Based on our findings, our organisation created a mission that clearly states its vision on gender diversity.

  • 27. We communicated this mission to the entire organisation to strengthen adherence.

3

Make inclusive leadership part of the corporate culture

  • 28. We identified the inclusive leadership styles and behaviours that we want to see adopted by the leadership team and all our managers.

  • 29. We communicated on inclusive leadership behaviours, and they are now established as important and valued criteria in our processes for evaluating the performance of our managers.

  • 30. We make women visible role models within my organisation.

    (through key initiatives and our business communication)
  • 31. We developed inclusive leadership training for all managers and integrated this training into management development programs.

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Gender diversity checklist

Measure 3 of 6

Please rate the level of implementation for the following actions with a rating of 1 to 5. One meaning that they are not at all implemented and five meaning that they are fully implemented within your company/organisation.

Measure #3: Take into account the difference between men’s career cycles and women’s career cycles
1

Conduct a gender balance analysis by level and role

  • 32. We collected data on the promotion and retention of women at every level and role in my company.

  • 33. We analysed this data to understand the barriers to women’s advancement and the reasons for turnover at each level and role.

  • 34. Based on these conclusions, we conducted exit interviews and a profound analysis of annual reviews to identify the barriers specific to women and the reasons behind their turnover rate or disengagement.

    (See Appendix 1)
2

Overcome barriers with targeted and effective approaches

  • 35. We reviewed our HR processes (evaluations, flexibility, promotions, maternity and paternity leave, etc.) to remove the barriers specific to women's careers.

    (See Appendix 2)
  • 36. We identified the awareness and training programs needed to overcome these barriers.

  • 37. We implemented some of these training programs.

    (e.g. training on stereotypes and unconscious biases, common barriers and sexism; two-way mentoring; training for HR staff on understanding and managing gender diversity, etc.)
  • 38. We made some of these training courses compulsory, and some are delivered face-to-face and based on “experiential” learning.

  • 39. I personally participate, and I request that my management team attend these trainings.

  • 40. We asked union representatives to support and participate in these trainings.

  • 41. We assess behavioural changes before/after these training programs.

  • 42. The organisation has validated an ongoing training program with an allocated budget to offer this training at all levels.

  • 43. We appointed and trained champions or ambassadors - including male champions - capable of raising awareness among employees at all levels of our organisation.

  • 44. We offer peer-coaching to all women in the shortlist to access N-2 and N-1 positions.

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Gender diversity checklist

Measure 4 of 6

Please rate the level of implementation for the following actions with a rating of 1 to 5. One meaning that they are not at all implemented and five meaning that they are fully implemented within your company/organisation.

Measure #4: Set precise, targeted, and ambitious individual goals for gender diversity
1

Formulate clear ambitions and objectives around gender diversity and close identified gaps

  • 45. We compared the situation of our organisation with that of other organisations with regards to gender diversity policies, targets and results.

  • 46. We carried out predictive analyses to forecast our talent pool.

2

Set clear goals for the representation, promotion, recruitment, training, qualification, working conditions, retention, and engagement of women

  • 47. We set objectives at different levels (including at every hierarchical and seniority level, and among high performers and senior management positions) to build and maintain a flawless and dynamic pool of female talent.

  • 48. We defined SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) gender goals organisation-wide, and at every level.

  • 49. We communicated the goals for all levels and roles internally.

  • 50. We publicly communicated our ambitions in terms of gender diversity.

3

Make variable compensation pay-outs conditional on achieving objectives

  • 51. Our leadership and management teams are accountable for achieving these objectives, which are discussed during annual performance reviews.

  • 52. We integrated our gender diversity objectives and expectations regarding inclusive leadership styles at different levels into our executive evaluation and variable compensation processes.

  • 53. We make sure that variable compensation is significantly linked to gender diversity.

    (e.g. at a minimum in our incentive and bonus plan)
4

Include "inclusive leadership" as a performance criterion for leaders and managers

  • 54. We defined the criteria for “inclusive leadership” at all levels of the organisation and these criteria are included in manager evaluation processes.

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Gender diversity checklist

Measure 5 of 6

Please rate the level of implementation for the following actions with a rating of 1 to 5. One meaning that they are not at all implemented and five meaning that they are fully implemented within your company/organisation.

Measure #5: Share gender diversity performance dashboard
1

Collect data on gender diversity to identify gaps

  • 55. Our organisation collects gender-specific data on the representation and advancement of women in the talent pool.

  • 56. This data is regularly updated.

    (e.g. at least once a year)
2

Build and monitor a comprehensive database of solid indicators

  • 57. We measure the proportion of women to men on a wide range of criteria with a global and narrow focus. For example, we focus on different levels, cohorts, lifecycles, and stages of talent advancement.

    (i.e. recruitment, promotion, turnover, salary, etc.). (See Appendix 3 for a detailed checklist to consult with HR.)
3

Effectively share data on gender diversity

  • 58. Performance indicators on gender diversity are available to all employees and staff in my organisation so they can easily access it.

    (e.g. on the company intranet)
  • 59. When we communicate or report data, we are not just submitting raw data, but providing a situational analysis supported by action-oriented key messages.

  • 60. This data is published externally in our annual report, CSR report or in the media.

  • 61. We are attentive to how our performance indicators are communicated internally, as well as how data is interpreted and messages are transmitted, so that they are not perceived negatively by men in particular.

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Gender diversity checklist

Measure 6 of 6

Please rate the level of implementation for the following actions with a rating of 1 to 5. One meaning that they are not at all implemented and five meaning that they are fully implemented within your company/organisation.

Measure #6: Establish inclusive behaviours and inclusive language
1

Pay attention to word choices when talking about diversity within the organisation so as to reflect the company’s level of maturity and address specific issues facing the company

  • 62. We reflected on appropriate language and adapted to our organisation’s level of maturity to discuss diversity and inclusion.

    (e.g. we emphasized the notion of gender "balance", rather than "equality" or "parity" - which can be too vague or focusing on the legal aspects of the issue - to make our employees aware of this issue).
2

Promote neutral language within the organisation void of sexist connotations

  • 63. My team and I always and systematically refer to “men and women” without distinction.

    (e.g. by consistently and equally using their first or last name, or titles such as Mr./ Ms., Dr., etc., or by using gender-inclusive language in our communications: “He or she” or introducing names in alphabetical order).
  • 64. In all circumstances, my team and I take care not to reveal any personal information such as marital status or children when we present an employee.

  • 65. My team and I avoid patronizing attitudes when talking about women (e.g. calling them “girls”) and we make no sexist remarks or comments about their physical characteristics.

  • 66. My team and I are consistent in recognizing personal achievements, without distinguishing between women and men.

  • 67. In languages that distinguish between feminine and masculine (e.g. Romance languages) - and where it’s culturally appropriate - we automatically use the feminine version of job titles.

3

Ensure women have space for expression and visibility

  • 68. We are mindful of the equal representation of women/men in forums, public engagements, etc.

  • 69. We make sure to give the floor to women during meetings and promote their endeavours, as we do for men.

  • 70. I correct myself or my team when we unwittingly fall into discriminating biases, such as cutting off women or repeating identical ideas put forward by women and making them our own.

  • 71. My team and I always put an end to any inappropriate behaviour or language brought to our attention.

Previous Submit

Gender diversity checklist

Complete

Thank you for completing the Gender Diversity CEO checklist! We hope this exercise has been meaningful and instructive; and that you have gained valuable insights to enhance your gender equality programmes and increase the impact of your actions.

You’ll find here a synopsis of your assessment, with your overall score as well as your score on each of the six measures that drive gender diversity results.

How to read the score?

Overall, you will see two scores:  the first one is the number of actions out of 71 for which you gave a top grade (4 or 5). The second is the percentage of actions which received a top grade (4 and 5).

For example, if you marked 40 actions with grade 4 or 5 out of a total of 71, your score will show 56, which means your company is already implementing 56% of the actions that are recommended to drive gender diversity. 

On each measure, the score shows the percentage of actions for which you gave a top grade (4 or 5).

For example, on Measure 1 “CEO commitment”, if you selected the highest grades (4 or 5) for 15 actions (out of 20), your score on this measure will show 75. It means that you are applying 75% of the actions that are recommended to drive gender diversity in your company. 

You can read your assessment and tips on how to further improve or enhance gender diversity programmes in your organisation. Our team is available for an individual discussion to share thoughts and address any question you may have.

We would like to thank the Observatory for Gender Balance and its experts for their contributions and inputs along the way. We extend our thanks to our colleague Christin Drücke, Partner at Mazars in Germany, in charge of diversity and inclusion, for her coordination and support in developing this checklist and piloting its utilization within our German office.

Overall score

# of questions for which you gave a 4 or 5 grade

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Overall score

% of actions listed in the checklist which are implemented in your company

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Score on each measure

% of actions implemented in your company, for each measure

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The “Self-assessment questionnaire for leaders wanting to accelerate gender diversity” was co-developed under the direction of Mazars, together with the Observatory for Gender Balance, and with the exceptional contribution of Rohini Anand, Former SVP Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo and Senior Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Inclusion Advisor at Rohini Anand LLC. It is a collective work protected by French and international copyright laws ©, filed with the INPI, and jointly owned by Mazars and the Observatory for Gender Balance. Consequently, any reproduction or use of the content – in whole or in part – for a fee or free of charge, is prohibited without their prior authorisation and constitutes infringement.