Twitter COO Adam Bain: Companies that focus on gender inclusion in the workforce perform better

Twitter COO Adam Bain says companies that are focused on inclusion perform better.

He shared his thoughts in HeForShe’s first gender parity report, published on Friday to coincide with the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. The report reveals 2014 numbers on the representation of women across 10 companies including Barclays, Unilever, McKinsey & Company, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

HeForShe is the UN’s campaign for gender equality. It says parity is defined at between 40% and 60% of each gender in a given role or group.

The report outlines the commitments companies are undertaking to improve gender parity in the workforce, but reveals almost all have some way to go — those that have a close to 50/50 split between men and women in the overall workforce, for example, have a low composition of females on the board or in the top 6% of the company.

Writing in the report, Bain said: “At Twitter, our goal is to attract and retain the highest quality of talent in the world. The science here is pretty simple. When you look at the various business studies that look at company performance and inclusion numbers, it’s just a fact, it’s not even a theory, that companies that are more mindful around inclusion perform better. I believe that it’s causation and not correlation.”

Twitter has already made a big, public commitment to improve the diversity of its workforce and has been reporting on its workforce composition each year since 2014 (so the numbers in the HeForShe report are out of date.) Back in August, Twitter outlined a number of goals it has set for 2016, including increasing the number of women at the company from 34% to 35% of the total, increasing women in leadership roles from 22% to 25%, and boosting the number of women in tech roles from 13% to 16%.

In December, Twitter hired Apple’s diversity chief Jeffrey Siminoff to lead its diversity efforts.

He was hired just a month after a former Twitter engineering manager wrote in a blog post on Medium that the lack of African-Americans, Hispanics, and women on the engineering team was damaging the company. Leslie Miley claimed the company’s user growth problem could be directly linked to a lack of diversity within its ranks.

Writing in the HeForShe report, Bain reiterated a tweet from last year that he wants his daughter to enter the workforce in an environment where women have just as much opportunity as his male counterparts.

“When you think about the future, you often think about your kids. My first two bosses in business were both incredibly inspiring and powerful female executives and I learned everything from them. I want both my daughter and my son to have the same experience that I did, which is to have the opportunity to have female managers and mentors who inspire them to do things they never thought possible,” Bain said.

The report outlines a number of efforts Twitter has been making to improve gender equality at the company including:

  • Giving mothers in the US up to 20 weeks of fully-paid parental leave — 10 of those weeks for bonding time, which is the same amount of paid time off that non-birth parents receive in the US.
  • Each quarter, Twitter holds “new mums and mums-to-be” roundtables that have led to initiatives such as roundtables for dads on leave and a “mummy mentor” program.
  • Providing medical-grade pumps in Twitter’s nursing rooms
  • Holding a global benefit for nursing mothers, which pays for the supplies and shipping for travelling mothers to ship their breast milk home.
  • A dinners-to-go program in Twitter’s HQ in San Francisco for employees to take home multi-portion orders of hot meals.
  • Free premium memberships to
  • Hosting HeForShe’s first-ever “Ideathon” in New York.
  • Partnering and sponsoring organisations and initiatives such as HeForShe and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
  • Launching employee resource groups such as @WomEng [Women In Engineering] and SWAT [Super Women At Twitter.]

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