Having a diverse blend of men and women on leadership teams is more likely to result in higher profits, according to a recent study.
The survey of 600 Board directors found that women are more likely to take a collaborative approach to decision-making.
Women are more inclined than men to consider the rights of others and to arrive at fair decisions that take the interests of multiple stakeholders into account.
Women business leaders were also found to be more inquisitive and to consider a broader range of solutions to problems.
“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results,” explains Chris Bart, professor of strategic management. “The findings show that having more women leaders is the smart thing to do”.
There is a wealth of research that supports having more women on leadership teams. For example, a 2012 Dow Jones study showed that business startups are more likely to succeed if they have women on their executive.
Since the eye opening report by Lord Davies back in 2011, it is true to say that there has been some progress in terms of greater recognition of the contribution of women in leadership. However, there is still a long way to go until we reach full ‘equality’. This is especially true when it comes to salaries.
The sporting world leads the way by offering equal pay to male and female tennis players at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam events.
It is valid to question why the same pay equality is not be applied throughout the business world.
Ann Francke, the chief executive of the CMI, says: “It’s disappointing to learn that the track record for the UK’s top private companies is even worse than it is for the FTSE 250. Again, this underscores the endemic nature of the issue – and highlights that the UK’s firms are missing out on the potential growth benefits of a more diverse management culture at a time when we need it most.” [Source: The Guardian]
There is still some way to go in British business with so many FTSE 250 firms still not employing or promoting enough females in higher positions but there is growing hope.
In Britain and throughout Europe we have some incredible women in leading roles such as Karren Brady, Laura Wade-Gery, Frances O’Grady, Katherine Garrett-Cox and Jacqueline Gold.
There is one woman in America that has taken the tech world by storm (traditionally a male dominated environment), and who is pushing the envelope in terms of women in business, and is now paying it forward to help more women succeed in leadership roles.
Sheryl Kara Sandberg is an American born business executive. In 2008 she was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. In June 2012, she was also elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on its board. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for the United States Department of the Treasury. In 2012, she was named in Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. [Source: Wikipedia]
In March 2013 Sandberg released her book titled ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ which has already received rave reviews.
Sandberg has an important message to share with women in business that want to be treated more equally, drive their career forward and become better leaders.
Top Tips for Leadership Equality
> Don’t question yourself – Think like a leader
> Work in an organisation that you truly believe in
> Don’t focus on fitting in – Embrace your gender and allow it to empower you
> Be sure of yourself – If you’re not you will miss the opportunities
> Use negative experiences as incentives to become a more revered leader
> If you’re a mother then embrace your position in both roles – Set a positive example for your children and colleagues
> Don’t believe the hype in ‘have it all’ – No one can have it all, be realistic and do what you can
> Support other women in your organisation – Support all women, you need each other!
> Educate yourself in everything
You can see Sheryl Sandberg talk about her book and the importance of women in leadership here:
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