More voices at the table is important for any business
Despite growing public interest in seeing women advance in the workplace, they still remain underrepresented in the conference and board rooms across the United States. Just a few years back in 2019, women represented only 6.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 29% of senior management globally. Yet there are many reasons why it might be a good idea to keep those figures on a steady and steep incline.
It’s Good for Business
Deeper wells reach fresher waters. Diversity in leadership is a key to good business because it allows a wider breadth in decision-making and relatability. One report from the Harvard Business School on the venture capital industry found that “the more similar the investment partners, the lower their investments’ performance.” Firms that increased their proportion of female partner hires by 10% saw, on average, a 1.5% spike in overall fund returns each year and had 9.7% more profitable exits.
They Put Others First
According to the Harvard Business Review, women are more likely to place the good of the team over their own self-interests, allowing for higher performance and greater returns. Where men are more prone to be more self-focused in their pursuits — be it a bigger paycheck, the corner office or higher social status — they tend to adopt a more self-centered style of leadership. Sometimes that comes at the sacrifice of the good of the team and the untapped potential of subordinates.
Superior Leadership Values
In a survey of 2,250 adults by the Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends, women ranked better than or equal to men in seven of the eight primary leadership traits assessed throughout the survey. Half of the respondents ranked women as more honest than men, with 20% saying that men are more honest than women. In terms of intelligence, 38% said they viewed women as smarter, with only 14% indicating men are smarter. Women also ranked as more compassionate, outgoing and creative.
Fresh Outlooks and Perspectives
As noted, a diverse workforce opens doors to different thoughts and ideas, which means new levels of experience and perspective are coming to the conversation to contribute innovation into a business. According to a blog from the software company Natural HR, “Women leaders will bring skills, different perspectives and innovative ideas to the table, but these three combined will help create new perspectives that lead to better decision-making as a whole for the business.”
Women Need Role Models
Having more voices at the table is beneficial to any gender; however, women in leadership posts provide younger generations with the support they need to advance in careers. In a report by the Rockefeller Foundation, two-thirds of Americans said it’s highly important to them that younger women starting their careers have more women in leadership positions as role models. That desire was especially strong among millennial women, with 82% of women younger than 35 noting the significance.