Women today hold more leadership roles than ever before. According to Forbes and Fortune, women CEOs now lead more than 10% of Fortune 500 Companies. You might be thinking, ‘That’s such a small number. Why should we be celebrating?’ Well, for women in the workforce, it is a major milestone. Historically, the number of women running Fortune 500 companies ran between one to two percent at most. Women have fought for equal rights and gender equality in the workplace for over a century. And while we have made strides, the fight continues to push for more female leaders.
But why is this important? When we create more opportunities for female leaders, we open a door of possibilities for major changes within organizations. Research shows that women executives impact how a company thinks, how the C-suite approaches strategy and innovation, and overall employee engagement.
So here are five reasons why the workforce needs more gender diversity at the top.
1. Women Achieve Better Financial Outcomes
When an organization has more female leaders, they set realistic goals in mind and have strategies for how they can achieve and surpass them. A recent study by University of Mississippi marketing professor, Saim Kashmiri, proved that female influence in the top management team positively impacts long-term financial performance. A report by McKinsey & Company found that with more female representation on boards, there is a 42% higher return on sales and 66% higher return on invested capital than companies with an all-male board.
2. Women Handle Crisis Better
According to CNN Business, research showed that “women tend to adopt a relational approach to leadership which is more effective in a crisis.” Being able to humanize those around them and the situation at hand are all reasons why females are great leaders. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”
3. Women Are Great Communicators and Collaborators
Communication is thought to be one of the most important skills to have in the workforce. However, it’s not just about what you say, it’s how you say it. According to the Potential Project, 55% of female leaders were ranked by their employees as wise and compassionate, compared to 27% of men; thus, women can have more meaningful conversations with their coworkers and colleagues to create a more collaborative environment.
4. Women Offer Fresh New Outlooks and Perspectives.
When we have more female leaders, they bring new ideas, different views, and a wealth of cultural diversity. They look at all the smaller steps that are needed to get to the bigger picture successfully.
5. Women Provide a Pathway to Mentorship
Having mentors to look up to is such a vital factor in any aspect of life. When one can see another who looks like them in a position of power, it allows them to feel as though they are being well represented within an organization. Even more so, 89% of those who have been mentored will go on to mentor others, creating a culture of learning, development, and aspiration.
To conclude, female leaders are necessary within any organization. While the number of female leaders is rising, it is still not enough. That is why we need to encourage women to be bold, to not settle, and to continue to push for gender equality and equal rights within the workforce.
Are you ready to take the next step in your leadership journey? Learn more about the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program.