The impact of gender diversity on business and within senior management teams has become an increasingly topical issue. One of the recent McKinsey report showed that only one-in-ten in senior leadership stands to be a woman. The unanimous view is that this is not enough to be “gender diverse.” The proportion of women at board level continues to be very low, but the numbers are changing gradually.
The research has shown time and again that having more women in management has major business benefits. According to Forbes, organizations with women in at least 30 percent of leadership roles are 1.4 times more likely to have persistent and lucrative business growth.
In the present times, building a comprehensive and diverse work atmosphere is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also vital for businesses to thrive in rapid technological and societal change. The blend of diversity and inclusion delivers improved business outcomes in terms of ability to innovate, openness to shifting client needs, and teamwork. It is an interesting fact that the companies that have more women in leadership tend to have distinctive cultures that lead to higher profits.
Given below are a few traits that make companies with more women leaders shine bright:
Knowledge is built through mentoring
Organizations that are gender diverse are leveraging mentorship to help women across the organization. Businesses with a formal mentoring culture typically have 20 percent lower turnover, 46 percent higher-quality leaders, and are 1.7 times more proficient in acquiring organizational knowledge before the retiring generation takes it away with them.
This mentorship culture also helps decrease concerns in times of movements like #MeToo as the relationship limits are clearer and more standard across the organization for both genders.
‘Push-yourself' opportunities are offered
Companies that swear by gender diversity let their high-performing women continue upping their skills and cross-functional knowledge. In times when women often hold themselves back due to a trend known as impostor syndrome, these organizations offer a conducive environment which pushes women to be more and do more and where occasional goof-ups are considered as a sign of learning.
Hiring and promotion becomes data-driven
The organizations that have women in leadership typically have hiring and promotion decisions that are more objective and data-driven, and not based on personal impressions. This approach may consist of incorporating objective evaluations about skills and behaviors into decision-making and employing an interview process that asks consistent questions of all candidates that are focused on their behavior and abilities.
Both of these methods help companies select leaders based on what they can do rather than making biased decisions based on their backgrounds and/ or manager recommendations.
Unnoticed talent is duly noted
Organizations with women in leadership look for hidden talent. That may mean a search of leadership capabilities in people who are quieter, have a different approach to problems or are non-traditional for a job description.
Companies with more gender diversity seek out unnoticed leaders and offer incentives for teams that include multiple points of view to innovate and solve problems.
Diverse viewpoints are accepted
To get women more into leadership demands a major culture shift. And, this does not happen overnight. Diversity-leading companies know that to breed leaders who both understand and echo the needs of their customers, they need to invest time.
In the end, gender-diversity will not only increase the number of women in leadership but it will go a long way in building a mutual, unbiased workplace where the common goal will be the organization’s growth and profit.
Gender diversity must be appraised based on the opportunities women have access to, and the challenges they have to navigate, instead of making a numbers game alone. To leverage the true potential of gender diversity in organization performance, the management needs to go beyond the short term goals of token representation, plurality, and diversity management, to creating an environment of inclusion. Studies substantiate that organizations with greater gender diversity generated more incomes from innovative products and services as compared to the rest of the workplaces. By promoting gender diversity at the organization level, discouraging discriminatory employment practices, providing equal access to quality jobs, and investing in creating opportunities for women to rise in employment ranks across the sectors, we can curtail occupational discrimination, and unlock noteworthy productivity gains and economic development.