Traditionally the corporate world has been dominated by men in leadership positions, but over the past few decades there has been a shift towards more women in leadership positions.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is ‘an equal world is an enabled world’. To quote from the International Women’s day website: “Equality is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. A gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious” Let’s take a look at how having women in leadership benefits your company.
In December last year Finland announced its first female leader in Prime Minister Sanaa Marin, and at age 38 she is also the country’s youngest Prime Minister to date. Her new coalition government was quickly formed with all five party leaders being women. In 2018 Finland held the 4th place position out of 149 ranked countries in the World Economic Forum’s Annual Gender Gap Report Index and more than half of Marin’s cabinet features women. Taking first place in this index is Iceland, who boasts the world’s first and longest serving female president, being Vigdis Finnbogadottir. What else do these two countries have in common? Both rank favourably on the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, being 11th and 26th respectively out of 140 countries.
But how do women in leadership roles translate to concrete benefits for your company? Medium believes that diversity in the workplace leads to better problem solving and more transparency in the workplace. According to an article on Scientific American, a team of researchers from Credit Suisse Research Institute found that of 2360 companies examined between 2005 and 2011, companies with one or more women on the board showed higher average equity returns and better average growth.
Furthermore research conducted in 2015 by Washington based Pew Research Centre on women and leadership showed that there is more trust placed on female leaders than their male counterparts. This same study showed that people in the workplace feel that women also make better mentors, with 25% of respondents believing that women make better mentors, while only 7% chose men. The remainder were neutral. It is critical to have good mentors within an organisation to build career growth and job satisfaction. Looking to show your appreciation to your female mentors this Women’s Day? Who doesn’t love a bunch of blooms? Get 20% off when you shop through our portal.
Today’s women are also entering the workplace with a higher education than in the past, with more women starting their careers with a college degree than men. This provides for a moving trend towards women starting their careers on an upward progression towards leadership roles earlier than in the past. And of course the better educated your employees the more innovation and growth you will see in your company.
Finally, women in leadership positions increase a company’s bottom line. A 2016 Harvard Business Review study found that a 30% female share of leadership went hand-in-hand with a 1% point increase in net margin, which translated to a 15% increase in profitability for any typical firm. They further found however that those women in leadership roles were actually performing on par with their male counterparts, showing that it was not necessarily better performance adding to profitability, but rather that having women in leadership positions added to an increase in skills diversity which had the benefit of improved monitoring of staff performance and a culture of less gender discrimination, which aided in attracting and retaining talent.
The importance of women in leadership can be summed up with this quote from the Harvard Business Review: “Because gender-biased firms do not reward employees with responsibilities commensurate with their talent, they lose out to rivals that do not discriminate. Their lack of gender diversity affects the bottom line.”