It's a hot topic you have heard lots about over the last year: Gender Diversity.
The years 2017 & 2018 could arguably be called "the years of the women." With movements like #MeToo & Times Up, public conversations have been upended about women’s issues around the world, elevating global consciousness around the obstacles women encounter in their daily lives, both personally & professionally. "Gender Equality" are two words that are being taken very seriously, as they should be, & here's why:
Seriously. A study done by a group of Harvard professors gave subjects aged 18 to 60 standard intelligence tests & assigned them randomly to teams. Each team was asked to complete several tasks—including brainstorming, decision making, & visual puzzles—& to solve one complex problem. Teams were given intelligence scores based on their performance. Though the teams that had members with higher IQs didn’t earn much higher scores, those that had more women did.
John Gerzema, the executive chairman of WPP Group’s BAV Consulting & a fellow at The Athena Center For Leadership at Barnard College, found this to be true in his research on the topic. Ten competencies were identified as being desired for modern leaders: expressive, plans for the future, decisive, reasonable, loyal, flexible, patient, resilient, intuitive, & collaborative, with 8 of those competencies considered to be "feminine." Empathy is innovation, kindness & sensitivity to others was the catalyst for creativity. Being vulnerable is seen as a strength, under the idea that maybe there’d be less failing if we were willing to admit what we don’t know in the first place.
Including women enables better problem solving.
Men & women have different viewpoints, ideas, & market insights, which enables better problem solving, ultimately leading to superior performance at the business unit level.
Gender diversity helps companies attract & retain talented women.
This is especially relevant as more women join the labor force around the world. It's basic math, really: companies cannot afford to ignore 50% of the potential workforce & expect to be competitive in the global economy.
More women means more profits.
Companies with 30% female executives rake in as much as six percentage points more in profits, according to a study, feeding into a global debate over the scarcity of women in decision-making business roles, according to researchers at The Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Improves your business' reputation.
Business reputation is more impactful today than ever before. How your business is represented to your audience, your employees, your investors & your future talent pool is undoubtedly a key definer of overall success. A recent study by PWC cited that 83% of women seek careers with businesses who demonstrate strong records of diversity & equality.
How are you investing in the women in your workforce, & what are you doing to create diversity in your company?