The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceforBetter and the aim is to create a better working world by accelerating gender parity.
Organisations across the globe are unifying to show their commitment to creating gender-balance at boardroom-level and beyond.
We also believe the world of business is a good place to start, so we’re sharing four key reasons why having more women in leadership roles will benefit your company.
1. Gender diverse businesses thrive more
The evidence is overwhelming. The more diverse your business, the more likely it is to thrive.
The argument that gender diversity benefits companies has been supported by various studies across Australia, the U.S and Britain, but females are still hugely underrepresented in Australian boardrooms.
According to the global leadership forecast 2018, companies with an above average level of gender diversity outperform businesses with less in key leadership and business outcomes.
Global consulting firm McKinsey also argues that increasing women’s representation in leadership is critical to having better-run, more-effective companies.
Their most recent report, conducted over a 10 year period, found that companies with three or more women in their executive committee had better results across dimensions of organisational performance, including innovation, work environment and values, efficient communication and direction.
The study also found that women express some key leadership behaviours more than their male counterparts, specifically people development, expressing expectations and rewarding success, role-modeling, inspiration, and participative decision-making.
To surmise; more women, less problems.
2. Women in positions of leadership make the best role models for other women
Having females in leadership positions at work naturally inspires other women to aim higher, creating a self-fulfilling cycle that drives gender parity.
A U.K study by the charity Catalyst found that having visibly successful female role models boosts confidence and empowers other women in the workplace.
Research from KPMG also found that 82% percent of professional working women believe access to and networking with female leaders will help them advance in their career.
The takeaway: female leaders inspire more women to become leaders.
3. Businesses with more women in the boardroom are more profitable
There are stacks of studies that indicate companies with a gender-balanced boardroom perform better financially.
A report for Catalyst found that Fortune 500 companies with more than three female directors outperformed the others in three major areas. Return on invested capital increased by 66%, return on sales went up by 42% and return on equity increased by 53%.
A 2016 report by Mckinsey also found that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have financial returns that were above their national industry median.
The takeaway: Increasing the number of women in your boardroom increases your ROI.
4. Women boost employee engagement
Women are skilled at relationship building and collaboration, and some research suggests that women have higher levels of empathy than men. Its fair to assume that if leaders exhibit these attributes it can help employees feel more engaged at work.
American consulting firm Gallup analysed responses from 27 million employees and found that female managers are better at driving employee engagement than their male counterparts.
In this instance, employee engagement was defined as having staff who were enthusiastic about their work and felt committed to their workplace.
The takeaway: hiring more women can make your workplace a happier place to be.