Impact sourcing is a business strategy that not only helps companies to grow but also provides stable employment to disadvantaged areas, populations, and demographics. With much loftier aims than simple offshore outsourcing, impact outsourcing can have a profound effect on individuals, business organizations, and even entire economies.
This is especially clear for women in the workforce. Around the world, we often put women on an unequal footing with men — in fact, about 70% of the world’s poor are women. Gender discrimination related to employment is an unfortunate reality that transcends national, cultural, and racial lines. Women who are as skilled as their male counterparts are often overlooked for promotions, or even ignored as potential job candidates.
Companies that invest in impact sourcing can play their part in combating this trend — especially if their impact sourcing strategies have the specific goal of recruiting more women into the organization’s workforce. This type of impact sourcing can have positive effects on both the individual women that come onboard, and the company. While there are no perfect solutions to the lingering problems of inequality in this world, impact sourcing can play a role in bringing opportunities to disadvantaged populations — such as women.
The following information will discuss two major aspects of impact sourcing in which companies should be interested:
- The benefits to the women themselves
- The benefits to business organizations that invest in impact sourcing
Companies that seriously investigate the possibilities associated with impact sourcing initiatives frequently find themselves at a competitive advantage compared to their industry peers. Of course, most of the affected women receive significant benefits as well.
Benefits to the Women
Millions of women around the world are willing and able to work; yet very few receive the opportunity to do so. However, there are several advantages that impact sourcing offers to disadvantaged yet hard-working women. These include the following:
- Stable employment. Around the world, the unemployment rate is significantly higher for women than men (6.2% compared to 5.5%, according to the UN). This disparity is especially pronounced in certain parts of the world, where even women that are more educated than their male counterparts struggle to find steady work. Impact sourcing initiatives allow qualified women to hold down a job with dignity and peace of mind.
- The ability to provide for their families. In many cases, women are the primary “breadwinners” for their families. Impact sourcing enables these women to get money and other resources they need, so they can adequately feed and clothe their children, along with any other dependents. It’s easy to imagine how happy women are when they obtain steady work from a reliable and conscientious employer. This benefits not only women personally, but also their entire household.
- Enhanced self-respect. Many women identify strongly with their job. If they are unemployed, this can have a negative effect on their self-image and sense of worth. Impact sourcing can, to some extent, help women achieve a deeper level of self-respect through productive employment. We are meant to work — and when that work is productive and satisfying, a deep-seated sense of satisfaction is the ultimate result.
Benefits to the Companies that Use Impact Sourcing
Apart from the benefits that come to the women themselves, the organizations that leverage impact sourcing to fill key positions also obtain significant advantages. These may include:
- A reduced attrition rate. Research shows that impact workers have a 15-40% lower attrition rate than their BPO counterparts. This would be especially true of women employees, considering the struggle many of them would face to find equivalent employment with another company. A reduced turnover rate leads to a higher level of workforce productivity, since experienced employees are more efficient than new hires. In addition, a lower level of attrition feeds into the next benefit to companies.
- Increased cost savings. Even when female impact workers earn the same as their male counterparts, employers will typically reap significant cost savings over more traditionally sourced workers: as much as 35-40% compared to BPO models. This is partly because of the reduced attrition rate mentioned above, and several other economic and regional factors.
- A competitive edge. Women often make up a large and untapped talent pool. Businesses that eagerly bring on female impact workers will probably gain an edge over their competition in terms of worker performance, cost savings, and revenue. In short, investing in a female workforce often may mean the difference between surviving and thriving in a crowded marketplace.
The above points don’t even touch on the potential effect that such impact sourcing initiatives could have on entire economies. Women face employment-related discrimination in many countries; however, those same countries would financially benefit from a more inclusive approach toward female workers. Interestingly, the International Monetary Fund estimates that raising the labor force participation of women to country-specific male levels would increase the GDP of the United States by 5%, of Japan by 9%, and of Egypt by a whopping 34%!
In review, impact sourcing can have a profound effect on individual women and entire organizations alike. It enables hard-working and skilled women to secure stable employment at a living wage, which allows them to provide for their families and cultivate a sense of self-respect. It opens up a wide and highly diversified talent pool to employers, while contributing to a marked reduction in attrition rate and a significant increase in worker productivity. It really is a “win-win” situation for all parties involved.
If you are interested in learning more about how impact sourcing can have a positive effect on women, or how it can provide your company with many competitive advantages, then consider speaking with one of our outsourcing experts at GlowTouch. We’ve built a reputation as a provider of world-class outsourcing solutions, and work with clients across a broad spectrum of industry. Start a conversation with us today.