February 09, 2017
GE has announced a new goal: to bridge the company’s gender gap by 2020.
To reach gender parity, GE plans to hire 20,000 women to fill STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) roles, including jobs related to engineering, manufacturing, IT and product management. In a news release, GE noted: “While efforts have been made across the sector, through education, funded initiatives and the emergence of nonprofit discussion, progress has been slow on this issue.”
Only 14 percent of engineers and 25 percent of IT professionals in the United States are women, according to a recent GE white paper. This gender disparity has real-life consequences, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which reports that closing the gender gap might increase gross domestic product by up to 10 percent by 2030.
Moving forward, GE will work to implement employee programs and benefits that foster a “fair and inclusive culture.” GE has also created a Chief Technology Advisory Council to assist in achieving its 20,000 benchmark, which will inform retention and leadership development strategies.
“Unless we bring more women into technology and manufacturing, there will be a significant negative economic impact on the sector,” said Marco Annunziata, chief economist at GE. “This is a problem for business to actively address.”