The Importance of Female Leadership for Business Success

female leadership success

“Increasing women’s equality is not just a moral imperative, and it’s not just the right thing to do. It’s just good business practice” Tiffany Vogel, Associate Partner – McKinsey & Company

Our society has evolved and now demands a work environment that not only allows for growth but one where people feel heard, respected and valued in their positions. Gender diversity in the workplace fuels employee engagement and satisfaction, significantly benefiting businesses. Not only does this affect how companies operate but it also influences the execution of company efforts (innovation, ROI, marketing, etc.) and employee retention. 

Incorporating more women in leadership positions leads to commendable outcomes across the globe. They are valuable assets to organizations due to their abilities to better understand and navigate relationships, multi-task, and the inclination to have stronger ethics than their male counterparts.

Women have a propensity to have higher emotional intelligence, letting them better understand their teams’ emotional needs to facilitate productivity and satisfaction. Company boards that have mixed-genders outperform boards that are all male, this is because of the communication, sharing of different ideas and experiences, which allows for a broader perspective. This fuller perspective allows for a more complete analysis of problems, strategies and planning. 

Why We Need Female Leaders

CEO of Nestiny quote

We can’t say it better than Jody. Since varying genders can produce vastly different experiences, female perspectives in business are just as necessary as their male counterparts. These differences are actually the strength and backbone of great business, allowing for companies to not just run well internally, but better speak to and serve their consumers. When we look to female leaders like Indra Nooyi, we begin to fully understand the benefits of having more women leaders in decision-making positions. 

Indra, currently holding a position in Forbes 100 Most Influential People, has a BA in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, and has her Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale. She is currently a director for Amazon and was previously the PepsiCo President and CEO. Not only does Indra have a strong and diverse background, but she has a wealth of experience that adds to her excellent leadership skills. 

Women are strongly motivated to prove themselves in their given fields/industries and are thus driven by new challenges they come across. They have proven to be successful in that endeavour, showcasing their enthusiasm, efficiency and strengths — ultimately advancing their companies.

7 Facts You Didn’t Know

  1. Women make up 25% of Vice-President positions in Canada 
  2. Increasing gender equality [female leadership] could result in $150 billion increase to the Canadian economy
  3. Only 18.4% of businesses in Canada are [majority] owned by women
  4. Full-time female employees earned 10% less then male counterparts (2015), which went to 15% less if they were mothers and 5% less than women without children
  5. In Canada, only 15% of CEOs are women
  6. Increasing female corporate leadership to a minimum of 30% (from 0%), boosts profitability 15%
  7. “86% of women reported that seeing more women in leadership roles encouraged them to get there themselves”
Jack Zenger CEO

When Women Get Involved

When women get involved in leadership positions, employees are statistically likely to have more trust in the company because female bosses are more likely to be seen as honest and ethical. Companies benefit from that trust in more ways than obvious ones, like retention. According to a study at MIT, when employees have trust in their employers, their dedication to their roles, and the success of the company increases which results in more creative thinking and higher productivity. That productivity, creativity, innovation and thought leadership in turn produces more revenue for these companies.

By delivering a different point-of-view to problem-solving, female leaders expand upon and strengthen the strategies used for solution-based thinking. For example, when it comes to paying equality, women are more likely to focus on team-based pay rather than individual-based salaries to increase feelings of fairness, teamwork, employee engagement and retention.  Women in these positions serve as role models to other women and young girls by proving the possibilities and encouraging them to pursue and attain these roles.  This plays a monumental impact on how our economy progresses in the coming years. These women influence and embolden the upcoming generations, shaping the future of business and industries globally. 

3 Women To Take Note Of

Meet Julie Delahanty@Julie_DelahantyA Carleton University alumnus, Julie Delahanty, is the Executive Director of Oxfam Canada and the co-chair of the Steering Committee to Address and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in the International Development and Humanitarian Aid Sector.  If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Women’s Executive Network has also named her one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.  Julie’s work at Oxfam Canada focuses on women’s rights and gender equality; she played a pivotal role in leading their ground-breaking “I’m a Feminist” social media campaign on International Women’s Day (2016). She has proven herself a strong role model for women and has made impactful contributions through her work to advance human rights in Bangladesh, Iraq, Central America and Pakistan.

Meet Ginni Rometty@GinniRomettyVirginia M. (Ginni) Rometty is the President, Chairman and CEO for IBM — and is the first woman to head their company. She ranks 3rd amongst Forbes’ Women CEOs of Fortune 500 list, 10th in the Power Women in 2018 and 61st in Powerful People’s list in 2016. She has also been featured in Forbes’ America’s Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018, Bloomberg’s 50 Most Influential People in the World, Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and Time’s 20 Most Important People in Tech. In entering her role as CEO in 2012, Ginni has led the company through its most significant transformation in its history; reinvented the company to be leaders in the new ear of blockchain, AI, cyber-securities and quantum technologies. She has also advanced IBM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by extending parental leave, and implementing programs like ‘returnships’ to make it easier for women to return to work.

Meet Mary Barra@mtbarraMary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. She is the CEO and Chairwoman of General Motor Company and previously served as their Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain. She also carries impressive rankings, holding first place on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women of 2017 and 5th on Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Mary has invested billions of dollars into electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and a ride-share service, Maven. GM ranked number one in the 2018 Global Report on Gender Equality, putting it as one of the only companies (there are only two globally) that have no gender pay gap.

These women continue to be a driving force in female leadership, setting new precedences and standards of business, equality, and innovation. 

Tiffany Vogel McKinsey & Company

The Takeaway

Smart business practice includes improving upon gender equality in leadership roles, especially amongst C-Suite positions. Female leadership has a proven positive global impact and leads to advanced problem-solving strategies, mended pay inequality and improved work environments. Furthermore, there is a positive societal impact on younger generations. Those minds will grow up and shape, direct and drive the future — reinforcing gender diversity through role models will improve the opportunities available for all.

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