The Nudge Approach

If we accept the fundamental premise that a neutral, unbiased design of organizations doesn’t exist, we arrive at a starting point for the nudge approach.

The next steps are then to accept that organizations nudge behavior by the organizational levers they adopt, such as structure and policies. These nudges -- incremental shifts in how an organization does things -- occur whether we like it or not and regardless of whether anyone intended it so. As a result, nudges are an inescapable feature of any decision-making process adopted by an organization. Taking it a step further, it seems unreasonable then to argue that we should not take corrective measures that are meant to (re)align the organizational levers with the goals of having more women and diverse talent at the senior level in firms.

Most current organizational designs are not advantageous for all talents. In fact, most of the current default rules in organizations are impeding the process of attracting, recruiting, and promoting more women and diverse talent. The solution points to planned, intentional actions that nudge more women and diverse talent into leadership and other roles in firms. A way to do this is by using Inclusive Balance System Design (IBSD) ® or “Gender Balance System Design” (GBSD) ®.

This approach consists of harnessing the power of big data, AI, behavioral science, and behavioral economics to design unbiased organizational levers that serve to increase equity and diversity in organizations. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, and the implementation of organizational levers, which are then carefully monitored, and evaluated, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not fostered or perpetuated.