Accenture Research: Company Culture Is Key to Unlocking Gender Equality

Press release
Published March 11th, 2018 - 09:31 GMT
Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey
Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey

New research from Accenture has identified 40 workplace factors that create a culture of equality — including 14 factors that matter the most. The research, published today in the company’s “Getting to Equal 2018” report, details the most-effective actions that business leaders can take to accelerate advancement and help close the gender pay gap. 

The research is based on a survey of more than 22,000 working men and women in 34 countries — including 717 male and female employees in the United Arab Emirates— to measure their perception of factors that contribute to their workplace cultures. The survey was supplemented with in-depth interviews and a detailed analysis of published data on a range of workforce issues.

“Our research has found that companies that exhibit positive workplace cultures, policies and programs support talented employees across the gender spectrum. Helping women, essentially, helps men too,” said Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey. “And in a country that has ambitious development plans, supporting talented employees in an inclusive environment will be a critical enabler for the UAE’s sustained success.”

Companies that exhibit the 40 factors are most likely to nurture talent, both male and female. In the UAE, about 78 percent of employees in these organizations have training available on demand — higher than the global average of 77 percent— and most of them (90 percent), indicate that these programs keep skills relevant.

Accenture’s research found that in UAE-based companies where the 40 factors are most common have:

  • 94 percent of employees are satisfied with their career progression
  • 92 percent of employees aspire to get promoted
  • 93 percent aspire to become senior leaders in their organizations

While both women and men advance in companies in which the 40 factors are common, women have the most to gain. For the UAE, Accenture research found that:

  • Fast-track women, a group that progresses to manager level within five years of employment, are more likely to progress in their careers in organizations with at least one female senior leader
  • Diversity targets help women, with 80 percent of the survey respondents indicating that policies driven by leaders when they are held accountable for improving gender diversity have led to an increase in female leadership within the last 5 years

Setting clear diversity targets, the research found, is a crucial step for leaders who want to strengthen their cultures.

The report, which builds on Accenture’s 2017 research on how digital fluency and technology can close the gender gap in the workplace, grouped the 14 core factors proven to influence advancement into three categories of bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment. 

Background Information


Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 204,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.

Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.

The company generated net revenues of US$21.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010.

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