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Lead the Change

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Lead the Change

The Competitive Advantage of Gender Diversity and Inclusion

Kelly Cooper,

15 min read
7 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn the evidence-based case for gender diversity and inclusion in business.

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  • Concrete Examples
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  • Insider's Take


This evidence-based argument for gender diversity and inclusion will help you build a formidable case for change within your own organization. Social intelligence expert Kelly Cooper explains the value proposition of gender diversity and inclusion and lays out a blueprint for action. She provides clear examples of the economic returns generated by more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures. Accounts of firms that have made progress with – and witnessed remarkable social and economic benefits from – gender diversity initiatives offer the proof that diversity drives returns on investment.


Gender diversity, equity, and inclusion drive organizational competitive advantage.

When organizations invest in gender equity, diversity and inclusion, they make social investments in their firms that yield measurable financial returns. When leaders invest in people, they generate reduced turnover and absenteeism, higher productivity and greater innovation.

Senior leaders who hire women and promote them to the highest offices, allow every employee parental leave and flexible work hours, and build a more diverse and inclusive workforce benefit the business, and make work and the world a better place. They also gain a competitive advantage. For example, making more opportunities for qualified women at work – and paying them equitably, while removing real and cultural barriers to male involvement in child care – provides a well-documented path to better business outcomes.

In 1995, the UN’s Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action established an agenda for international gender equality. Widespread gender equity demands more advocates who are equipped with ...

About the Author

Kelly L. Cooper is the Founder and President of the Centre for Social Intelligence and was a finalist for the Women of Inspiration 2021 Awards. She guides leaders and change agents to create a diversity and inclusion transformation within their organizations. Ms. Cooper led the development of the Free to Grow in Forestry Initiative, including leading the development of a forest sector national action plan in Canada. She also serves as the gender expert for the Gender Equity Task Force of the International Union of Forest Research Organization.

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