Charting a path for sustainable female leadership
It is estimated that India’s economy could grow another 60% by 2025, adding $2.9 trillion, if women were represented in the formal economy at the same rate as men. This is also a reason why providing equal opportunities for women is at the top of the list of many socially responsible organizations around the world. But women’s full and equal participation in the global workforce remains a challenge because, in many cases, women are not encouraged to strive for leadership roles, contributing to a power imbalance. Fortunately, organizations are now moving forward with gender inclusivity and diversity as their major reforms and industries across the globe see improvement in women’s hiring rate and representation globally. Business.
According to Fortune 500, women leaders make up only 8.1% of the top 500 companies. This shows that women’s participation in the labor market is still painfully low. A study of harvard business review revealed that women outperform men in most leadership skills and that women are better leaders in times of crisis.
It goes without saying that women in leadership positions have a positive impact. By staying ahead of change and instilling an inclusive culture, companies can foster innovation, creativity, and stay ahead of the competition with a larger talent pool. In addition, companies whose women have moved into leadership positions are likely to achieve better financial goals and improve company reputation and performance. A McKinsey survey suggests that women exhibit leadership traits highly applicable to future global challenges.
With the service industry constantly evolving and transforming business needs, there is an increased demand for a workforce with completely different and hard to define skills. Most organizations will benefit immensely from the social and emotional intelligence skills such as determination, attention to detail, and experiential thinking that are associated with women. That said, the three benefits that female leaders can bring to the table to help organizations thrive are:
Soft skills for competitive advantage– Research conducted by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry found that women outperform men in soft skills such as emotional intelligence and self-control. The study also highlighted skills such as coaching and mentoring, influencing, inspirational leadership, conflict management, organizational awareness, adaptability, teamwork and goal orientation. success like other fields where women are dominant.
Better problem solving skills: It is believed that heterogeneous group ideas and perspectives create space for creativity and motivate everyone to discover new information. This increases the scope for better decision-making and helps find lasting solutions towards greater success.
Building Trust: In today’s competitive business world, trust is a valuable aspect that not only affects external business relationships, but also keeps internal teams and communication goals intact. That said, it’s worth pointing out that lower team morale, lower productivity, and unethical behavior often lead to a tarnished public reputation, loss of investor confidence, and more. Thus, it is more crucial than ever to ensure that a company and its leaders are aligned on ethics and transparency. And studies suggest that women have an advantage in maintaining ethical behaviors that can help them build trust and community within the organization.
Representing women in leadership roles is a dual challenge. First, hiring and securing women in leadership positions. Second, create an enabling environment for more women to rise to leadership positions. A a study reveals that for every 100 men promoted to a managerial level, only 86 women are promoted, which largely explains why there are more men than women at the management level. So, to bridge this gap, organizations can:
- Instill an open culture in the organization.
- Encourage and mentor women to foster a level playing field.
- Support female employees through coaching and development programs that will equip, develop and empower them to lead confident careers.
- Deploy AI-powered recruiting solutions that can aid in objective assessments of skills, competencies, and talents while excluding demographic factors such as gender, race, and age. This will help hiring teams proactively overcome unconscious bias.
- Develop policies to address sexual, physical, and emotional harassment that can provide a safer work environment for a diverse workforce.
- Implement fair compensation and benefits policies to ensure fairness, openness and transparency for all.
This will help organizations lay the foundation for sustainable success at higher levels.
“The world’s most prominent women leaders show the importance of honesty, courage, impact and decisive action in leadership” – Oprah Winfrey. It’s important to note that women leading large companies or serving newly emerged industries bring a combination of traits to the table. And according to studies, some of these traits are clearly more important than others in supporting the overall growth of organizations. It is therefore imperative to lead conversations about the potential benefits of female leaders, as this can result in an impactful leadership action plan.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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