3 Companies doing gender equality right (and how you can, too)

June 5, 2023
| ByMadison

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) have evolved over the years, moving away from a trendy buzzword and toward a crucial tenet of any successful business. It’s what propels companies into sky-high profits. It is responsible for ground-breaking innovations. And it’s what boosts employee performance. 

There are dozens of business reasons to magnify DEIB. And one part of DEIB is addressing gender equality and how you recognize women in the workplace. Highly intelligent and aware organizations like Starbucks lead by example, showing us how to achieve gender equality and embrace DEIB.

Need some direction? Starbucks, Accenture, and L’Oreal are doing DEIB—especially gender equality—right. 

Forget closing the gender pay gap—Starbucks eliminated it

Starbucks started as a small coffeehouse in Seattle in the '70s but quickly grew into one of the world's biggest coffee shops. As an innovator and leading coffee company, it's no surprise that Starbucks has made monumental strides toward gender equality.

With so much talk about closing the gender pay gap, it feels like changes will be incremental; reaching full pay parity is something to expect in a few decades. And yet, Starbucks has achieved 100% gender pay equity in the U.S. and race pay equity.



While Starbucks' diversity stats are impressive, they're only part of the picture. The coffee giant has done the heavy lifting in the background to create a truly inclusive and equitable work environment:

  • The leaders at Starbucks understand that women have historically earned lower wages. So, instead of benchmarking salaries based on previous roles, Starbucks doesn't ask for previous incomes.
  • Starbucks shares pay ranges for every position in the U.S. and Canada with any candidate that requests them to ensure they don't ask for a lower salary or undervalue themselves.
  • The company offers benefits like paid family and medical leave to recognize that women are more often caretakers who suffer from the "motherhood penalty." It allows women to participate fully in the workforce.
  • Leadership has created a culture of pay transparency, establishing a process for annual bonuses and merit increases based on statistics (to ensure bias-free outcomes).

More than lip service: Accenture tops the list for diversity

A leading consulting firm, Accenture is another exemplary company to model to become a leader in gender equality and DEIB. Not only has Accenture made DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity list a whopping 16 years in a row, but it also ranked number one for 2022 for its efforts to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture.

Led by female Chair and CEO, Julie Sweet, Accenture walks the walk—DEIB is more than just lip service. 



Accenture boasts impressive gender equity stats, but it takes a holistic approach to diversity. Its executive board is both gender and racially diverse, and the organization has taken steps to educate its employees on being inclusive.

Over 71K employees completed its “Thriving Together: Building Resilience & Belonging” behavior change initiative—a program focused on resilience and belonging—in 2022 alone. And that's just one of many resources Accenture offers to its employees.
Other best practices to fo follow from Accenture include:

  • Advancing employees based on a meritocracy system
  • Following an equal pay for equal work framework
  • Conducting annual pay equity reviews to ensure full pay parity


L'Oreal's commitment to women's empowerment goes beyond the brand 

One of the leading cosmetics brands, L'Oreal has long been a champion of women's empowerment. But the mega beauty brand has internalized its efforts, prioritizing a diverse and equitable culture for everyone. 

While its numbers for the end of 2020 are impressive, it's more inspiring to see how far the brand has come. L'Oreal proves that anyone can create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures that foster a sense of belonging. A testament to this is its pay structure for parental or adoption leave: full pay, and when they return, they can benefit from wage increases.



DEIB and gender equality are about more than numbers

Companies like Starbucks, Accenture, and L'Oreal boast impressive stats for gender equality and overall DEIB. But it's about so much more than that. These brands have done research, shared resources, implemented impactful changes, and more to ensure consistent and constant improvement.

And you can be sure they've reaped all the benefits of creating a culture that embraces and celebrates diversity. Are you doing the same? DEIB and gender equality start with policy change and a dedication to doing better, but you can (and should) recognize your employees to show them just how much you value them.

Sometimes that looks like:

  • A Starbucks gift card
  • A simple "thank you!"
  • An extra PTO day
  • Gift cards to their favorite stores

When you combine big changes with simple "thank you" moments, you express gratitude to your employees and let them know they all matter.

Need a recognition and rewards provider to help you navigate the best way to reward your employees? Madison can help. Reach out to learn more about how we can celebrate your employees and give them the recognition they deserve.

At Madison Recognition our work is rooted in the belief that unleashing the productive potential of employees with reward and recognition programs and empowering individuals will help us stay ahead of workforce trends. To learn more about how you might be  neglecting women in the workforce and the steps you can take to correct that, download our white paper here.

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