Women have been in the news a lot lately, and while this article is not a reflection on what’s been happening as the issue of sexual harassment has dominated the headlines, the reality is that we need more women in leadership positions in business.
- According to the National Women’s Business Council, women begin their businesses with less capital than their male counterparts, $75,000 versus $135,000.
- 32 women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
- Women pay more than men for the same services and products, while they make less than men and have started to lose ground in pay. They pay more than men for dry cleaning, haircuts, razors, blouses versus a man’s shirt, deodorants, etc. If you’re interested in the cost of being a woman, you can check out Glamour magazine’s video on the subject.
- In 2017, women held only 6 percent of seats in the U.S. Congress.
- Women made up 20.2 percent of the board seats in Fortune 500 companies.
- And although women make up for 51.5 percent of management positions in business, we know the reality is that they’re typically reporting to men.
While there have been strides made, most women would tell you; there’s more that can be done and has to be done so that women have gender parity in business (and life) with men.
I’m someone who believes that in his businesses, he has to be the best. I expect excellence, and I also seek to dominate in my industries. I have a “take no prisoners” style in business, and I think women (and the diversity of opinions and points of view that they bring to my businesses) helps make us better.
I also understand that in the tech industry, companies sometimes take advantage of cognitive diversity to keep the offices filled with men. But, as an entrepreneur, if business leaders want to crush the competition (and hey, who doesn’t want to be the one customers think about first?) then it’s essential to support women-led businesses and to include gender diversity in management and senior leadership of women.
Why bother making concerted strategic efforts to ensure gender parity in business, besides it being the right thing to do from a societal perspective?
Well, because businesses that have women in leadership positions perform better. That’s the short answer.
In a gender diversity study by commissioned by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and completed by Marcus Noland, Tyler Moran and Barbara Kotschwar, stated, “Women’s presence in corporate leadership is positively correlated with
I see it in my businesses. We get much better services for our partners because of the insight, work performance and thinking that women (and diversity) bring to our corporate table.
- An MSCI study found that companies with “strong female leadership generated a Return on Equity of 10.1% per year versus 7.4% for those without…”
- MIT studies found that woman had a higher level of emotional intelligence and can, therefore, understand subtle context better.
- Women outperform men on multi-tasking, as noted in a BMC Psychology paper, and the reasons why are because they handle the majority of the work at home and work.
- At a time of increased transparency by the public and customers, women have a lower tolerance for corporate practices that border on the unethical or illegal and they are more likely to be whistleblowers.
Will more companies understand that recruiting women into leadership positions in business or investing in their start-ups will help them make more money and profit? Unfortunately, we don’t know how things will play out in the coming years ahead. I’d like to think that the male leaders have moved passed hiring people that are similar to us––in effect, male––and that we’re moving more toward gender parity. I’m hopeful that the firehose of information on the Internet and more studies geared toward the strength of women in the workforce will help more businesses understand what I have known for a long time. It’s great to have women well-represented in companies, including in leadership roles.
Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact” (Free Digital Download)
© 2017 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.