TECHNOLOGY solutions provider Accenture Philippines is urging companies to make investments in implementing the culture of equality in the workplace to drive innovation.
According to the company’s “Getting to Equal 2019” research, US employees’ willingness and ability to innovate (innovation mindset) is nearly five times higher in companies with a robust culture of equality than least-equal companies.
In the Philippines, the innovation mindset is over three times higher than in companies where equality factors are least common.
“In this era of widespread disruption, businesses and organizations need to respond with continuous innovation to succeed,” said Ambe Tierro, lead of Accenture’s advanced technology centers in the Philippines, and global artificial intelligence capability and delivery.
Tierro said tapping the power of workplace culture is essential to unleashing innovation across the company.
“As the culture improves, our employees’ innovation mindset improves as well,” she said.
Accenture calculates that global domestic product would increase by up to $8 trillion if the innovation mindset in all countries were raised by 10 percent.
According to the new study, people across all genders, sexual identities, ages and ethnicities show stronger innovation mindset in more equal workplace cultures.
Ninety-five percent of the surveyed executives see innovation as vital to competitiveness and business viability. They acknowledged that a culture of equality in the workplace is a powerful driver of an innovation mindset.
According to the study, for every 10 percent that the culture factors improves, the innovation mindset among Filipinos increases by 10.6 percent.
Over 70 percent of the increase in innovation mindset comes from empowerment factors.
Providing relevant skills training, flexible working arrangements and respect for work-life balance inspire employees to excel in their work performance. Companies that foster healthy relationship with the workforce likewise encourage them to think innovative solutions in their task.
Twenty-three percent of Filipinos in most equal cultures say that nothing holds them back from innovating compared to the 13 percent of Filipinos in least equal cultures.
One of Accenture’s programs in implementing an equal culture of workplace is the extended maternity leave for women for 120 days and 30 days for paternal leave.
While some business owners in Cebu were worried that the extended maternity leave would cause disruption in their operations, especially for small-sized businesses, Tierro said such extension brought positive impact to their work environment.
“There was no negative impact. In fact, they are happier, more satisfied and energized when they come back to work,” said Tierro.
Accelerating equality in the workplace has never been more critical for driving innovation, according to Marixi Carlos, inclusion and diversity lead of Accenture Philippines.
“If people feel a sense of belonging and are valued by their employers for their unique contributions, perspectives and circumstances, they are more likely to advance and feel empowered to innovate. This is why, as a people company, Accenture is committed more than ever to promote equality, foster inclusion and embrace diversity in the workplace,” she said.
Accenture’s new research surveyed more than 18,000 professionals in 27 countries. The study was built on the 2018 research that identified 40 workplace factors that contribute to a culture of equality and were grouped into three categories—bold leadership, comprehensive action and empowering environment.