Women in Management

by Rita Bailey

The business case

Is there a real business case for increasing the numbers of women in senior and board level positions?

Absolutely! Here’s why...

  • Women are an untapped and diverse talent pool.
  • The modern workplace requires a diverse workforce to increase its ability to respond to change quickly. Diversity creates new fresh ideas that support innovation.
  • Women are professionals.
  • Women are more than 50 per cent of the workforce and provide a pool of untapped talent for business at a time that demands increased accountability, along with better governance by leaders.
  • Women are excellent collaborators.
  • The perception of women as team players, effective communicators and consensus leaders supports a more inclusive way of leading and managing, solving problems and engaging employees fully. The female style of leadership supports broader decision-making and collaboration with diverse groups in the workplace.
  • Women support positive working relationships.
  • The 21st century workplace is full of changes and uncertainty. Good working relationships are vital to the success of the modern workplace. Women are able to facilitate these types of working relationship, drawing on different people, with a wide range of abilities and experience.
  • More diverse boards have better corporate governance than homogeneous boards, and this improves the quality of their decision making. Homogeneous boards, made up of groups of people who are similar in terms of race, class and education, have recently had a bad press: similarity in background and experience leads to little innovation.
  • Enlarging the talent pool for leadership and management gives a company more choice, allowing it to access a wider range of skills and abilities.
  • Employing women in senior roles enhances the competitiveness of a company. Diverse companies are able to draw on the wealth of skills and experience offered by their total workforce.
  • Where companies have a large female customer base, those customers are more attracted to organisations that have role models of women holding senior executive positions at the top.
  • Diversity is also important for the reputation, profile and perceptions around the corporate responsibility of global brands, in global communities.
  • Utilising the talent pool reduces costs and turnover of staff, as people feel challenged, recognised and stretched in ways that develop their skills for the benefit of the business.
  • Organisations which draw on a diverse workforce can improve their bottom line, including stakeholder, customer and community relationships.

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.

Faith Whittlesey