Companies all across the world are doing their best to make their workplaces more inclusive for women, but globally there is still a deeply concerning gender gap between the frequency of women in business and men in business. Although there have been some big names like IBM and General Motors employing female CEOs in recent years, the world isn’t making the most of the following advantages that women can bring to senior roles in business.
Diversity is key to creativity
It can be easy to find yourself in a rut, creatively speaking, but one brilliant way to make sure your company never goes down that route is simply to increase your diversity, whether that’s gender, culture, age or race. Diversity helps to foster creativity and produce an innovative culture. This is very important when considering the gender gap because both men and women, as well as the other genders, will have immeasurably different experiences that will help to shape their approach to business. It will allow a group to approach a problem from a different angle and think outside the box.
Women tend to perform well in leadership roles
Leaders are often associated with alpha behaviors, but good leaders in CEO positions need soft skills to be successful. Soft skills are some of the most desirable skills in business and are more difficult to learn; skills like effective communication, self-awareness and empathy are vital for leadership positions. Compassion and integrity are also linked with business performance, often leading to higher returns on assets. Much psychological research has found that women are more likely to outperform men in emotional intelligence tests, which means they have a higher chance of using soft skills to a company’s advantage in a leadership position.
There is great societal importance to reducing inequalities simply because inequality reduces a population’s happiness and increases the incidence of mental illness. A crucial issue facing female businesspeople is that of empowerment which, according to women’s business coach Angela Henderson, is a vital value for women to carry into the business world. Empowerment helps to fight inequality and contributes to a healthier and happier society.
Economic and consumer insight
Women contribute trillions of dollars in consumer spending to the economy every year, so it’s simply bad business to not incorporate a female perspective when developing products and services. This is a serious deficit that can be seen in advertising – according to adweek, only 11% of creative directors are women, which means the industry could be missing out on engaging with a key target audience – indeed, only 11% of campaigns are directed at women.
Perspectives from both men and women in equal measures (as well as those of other relevant genders) are needed to make products and services most suitable for a mixed gender market. This is especially relevant when surveys find that women don’t feel valued enough by the marketplace. Unconscious biases that come from a business decision not having the female perspective can result in missed sales, marginalized customers and unhappy staff.