What does it take to build a strong business? More and more studies show having women in positions of leadership is not just good for business, but provides benefits throughout the workplace. From enhancing collaboration to increasing organizational dedication, the advantages to developing female leaders in corporate settings are well-documented. If this is the case, why is there still such a disparity?
Through a recent survey of more than 64,000 employees, a workplace study uncovered 279 top companies employing 13 million people had women as only one in five senior leaders. Additionally, only one in 25 was a woman of color. This inequality is compounded further as other studies show an average increase of 35% in gross domestic product when the gender gap is closed.
Today, many companies continue to fail to view gender diversity as a priority whether due to outdated thinking or simply not understanding how it could benefit their bottom line. Below are reasons why gender inclusiveness is advantageous as well as why companies and individuals should invest in a women’s leadership development program.
The Importance of Female Voices in Corporate Environments
What makes a woman’s voice different than a man’s voice? For one, female voices are often criticized despite being a strong asset. Also, exhibiting vocal fry, upspeak and other vocal tendencies are typically viewed more negatively with women.
How can a woman use gender-distinctive aptitudes to make her voice heard? One possible answer could be to utilize “soft skills” as they are now rated higher in importance than work readiness.
Sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence, soft skills are often seen as distinctive abilities when approaching others or how professional life is handled. Organizations, while still valuing fundamental success markers such as experience and knowledge, are starting to hold soft skills in high regard.
It is important to note, many essential leadership qualities are incorporated into this term, including:
- Strong collaboration
- Effective communication
- Oral and written alike
- Developed critical thinking skills
- Improved networking ability
- Amplified professionalism
- Demonstrated through work ethic, self-motivation, stress management, etc.
How Women Leadership Development Benefits Organizations
One area female leaders excel in is trust building. Trust is a highly valued and fragile commodity in today’s world of transparency. Having leaders who act in an ethical manner and uphold ethics-based behaviors throughout their organization is a powerful tool to wield.
When negative and unethical behavior is exposed, it has been shown to lower productivity, weaken morale as well as result in damaged reputation, financial loss and much more. Avoiding these disastrous effects starts with trustworthy leaders.
Next is enhanced problem-solving abilities. Individuals from different backgrounds — whether based on gender, ethnicity or other identifiers — can bring a range of diverse perspectives to the table when examining a problem.
Through collaboration and idea-sharing within a diverse group, better decisions can be made. Conversely, a group of people with the same backgrounds and mindsets often come to similar conclusions leading to a counterproductive pattern.
Lastly, women are oftentimes better at self-scrutiny. Conversations emerging from such inward reflection, as a leader or as a company, can work to improve the assessment skills of the participants and the workplace overall. Fostering an environment that promotes effective leadership behavior and problem-solving skills may inspire everyone to be their best work self.
Through these valued traits of professionalism and providing a more supportive management style, women are proving to be invaluable assets. By integrating soft skills and more traditional “hard” skills, female leaders can revolutionize an organization and fuel growth. In putting these propensities into play, women could help achieve quantitative success in business and drive qualitative cultural gains simultaneously.
How CoachDiversity Institute’s Services Can Help You Inspire Change
The presence of bias and prejudice is still highly reported, despite the progress made in recent years. Through diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training; women leadership training; and corporate diversity programs, it is possible to drastically reduce these reports and encourage a healthy working environment for everyone.
Partnering with CoachDiversity Institute encourages companies to leave the old approaches to diversity training and work toward something better. CoachDiversity Institute’s Certified Professional Diversity Coaches can help you build a company culture demonstrating inclusion, equity and diversity to transform the way business is done. You can also enlist in extensive training programs to become certified as a coach yourself.
With our focus to support change with diversity as a mechanism, CoachDiversity is ready to help you and your team uncover sources of contention preventing optimal performance. Through innovative teaching tools and techniques, we can help leaders think differently and put that new philosophy into practice. Developing a proactive mindset is essential for forward-thinking leaders who want an equal opportunity workplace, and we are here to get you on the right path.
For more information on how you can instill real change in a corporation or community, please visit this helpful resource on diversity training in corporations. Or if you would like to maximize your personal and professional leadership potential, we offer one-on-one executive coaching.