The role of women leaders in organizations not only promotes gender equality. It also provides benefits to companies and society.
The inclusion of women in leadership positions still has a long way to go. The recent study “Women in the Boardroom. A Global Perspective”, conducted by Deloitte, revealed the percentage of women in boardrooms is 16.9%.
Currently, half of the global population are women, and yet they are not necessarily represented at all levels within organizations. It is essential to promote the conscious inclusion of women in positions that involve decision-making.
A diverse workforce can benefit companies by:
- Provide different approaches and opportunities.
- Connect with a customer, supplier, and employee base who are represented by leaders with similar interests and challenges who understand their needs.
According to business leaders and keynote speakers with massive public recognition like Dr Wright, having women in decision-making bodies in the corporate sector leads to better development results. Numerous studies indicate that the presence of women in high offices increases the likelihood that women’s interests are represented and increased corporate productivity. Womens’ approach to problem solving and corporate preferences than men regarding the allocation of resources and legislative priorities.
Dr. Wright argues that the economic participation of women reduces prejudices and negative stereotypes about the effectiveness of women in leadership positions. The mechanisms of participation of women increase the acceptance of female leaders and candidates by voters.
She is a double board certified orthopedic sports surgeon, author, and keynote speaker. She is one of the pioneering orthopedic surgeons, a field that represents only 6% of women globally.
CONTRIBUTION OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS
- Resilience: Historically, it has been seen that amid adversity, women empower themselves, and not only adapt but also grow.
- They have a strategic vision of resource management: Their perspective can be broad and strategic, seeking to make the most of their internal and external capacities, as well as material and intangible assets.
- They take the subject of talent development very seriously: They often have among their priorities the preparation and promotion of the development of the employees within the organization.
- Self-knowledge: Women can know themselves, discover their strengths, accept their mistakes and learn from them.
In this regard, IPADE’s Center for Research on Women in Senior Management (CIMAD) released a study by Management Systems International that indicates that in companies where female leadership prevails there is a 10.1% return on investment. In companies that do not have this strength, the return is only 7.4%.
This data reaffirms the relevance of adding female talent in the business field. However, taking into account the current pace, this goal will possibly be reached until the year 2027.
Within the barriers to gender equality and empowerment of women, there are three main limitations according to the report “Women’s Economic Empowerment” by the World Bank:
- Adverse social conventions, discriminatory laws and the lack of legal protection.
- Lack of recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid domestic work.
- Lack of access to financial, digital and property assets.
These characteristics should be added to the cultural factors that need to be rethought to avoid limiting the development of women in business.
FUTURE OF FEMALE INCLUSION: WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR COMPANIES TO EMBRACE INCLUSION IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS?
The first pillar is dialogue and openness on the part of the organizations, essential points of the scheme for the inclusion of women proposed by the United Nations. Measures against discrimination at different organizational levels will allow the change of thinking and decision-making patterns.
The second pillar is recognition. The lack of recognition of the role of women and the inequitable distribution of income are factors that must be worked on.
Currently, there is a gap in wages and access to different assets, including the capital. A World Economic Forum report reflects the level of backwardness relating to economic participation, where gender inequality remains stubborn.
Finally, the formal and informal establishment of networks that promote the empowerment of women, men and women who are aware of the benefits that the changes above bring to society and the country’s development is required.
INITIATIVES TO CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE
The empowerment of women needs to have the necessary infrastructure so that affirmative actions are forceful and sustainable, defining clear, measurable and challenging objectives. On the other hand, it is essential to create spaces for reflection and dialogue tables to transform cultural aspects that, as indicated, in some cases, reinforce the status quo and can slow down development.
Much has been made of the “glass ceiling” that prevents women from accessing leadership positions. To break it, it is necessary to encourage preparation, generate opportunities and share the testimony of successful women who have managed to overcome obstacles to position themselves at the highest level.
The Boards of Directors can influence from the definition of the strategies of the organizations contemplating the inclusion within the philosophy of the company, the mission, vision and values. In parallel, integrating talented women into the Councils will give a different approach and allow aligning initiatives for the empowerment of female talent from the root.
Analyzing the theme of diversity and inclusion towards the talent approach is crucial. The certifications, in terms of inclusion and diversity following the UN Women’s Standards of Economic Empowerment on employment equality, can offer different benefits to the companies that are entitled to them.
It is essential to clarify that the development of women does not imply competition against men. Both are required to rethink schemes that allow greater participation of women in the economy, and men in family spaces. Development must be systemic and for the benefit of the different actors involved in the process.
The leadership of the future requires a new model based on creativity, sensitivity and communication. All three are essential characteristics that women possess and much favor business dynamics.