THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES
Today is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is #PressforProgress highlighting the urgent need for gender parity. The IWD organization cites the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report which shows that while women have made strides in healthcare and education, there is still a large gender gap in the workplace and politics with women under-represented in boardrooms and C-Suites.
When you look around your organization, is there an equal number of men and women in leadership roles? If your executive team is mostly male, this can be a signal that your company is not female-friendly and there is no career path for ambitious women employees. You could be missing out on top talent.
The Global Gender Gap Report shows that less than 50% of leaders across all industries are women, and in male dominated fields such as energy, mining and manufacturing, that number drops to fewer than 20%.1
The report also found that in companies with more women in leadership roles, women are more likely to be hired at all levels. “Female representation in leadership is a top indicator for hiring of women at all levels, thereby creating a deeper bench of female talent at more junior levels to be promoted into leadership roles.”2
The importance of women in leadership roles goes beyond closing the gender gap – there are economic impacts as well. A McKinsey study found that more gender diverse organizations are more likely to outperform those that are less diverse by 21%.3
Shining a light on the gender pay gap
To highlight the gender gap in pay equity, Canadian magazine Maclean’s published two covers last month with two different prices – one at the regular price of $6.99 for women, the other at $8.81 for men – to represent the 26% wage gap between full-time wages for women and men.
The idea for this cover came from a 2016 bake sale held at the University of Queensland in Australia. The Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale charged higher prices for men to demonstrate the pay gap. The negative backlash on social media made headlines around the world and Maclean’s wondered if the response here would be similar. The move sparked a local conversation around pay equity, joining the many international news stories on the subject.
What is your company doing to combat gender disparity?
The International Women’s Day campaign is not limited to March 8 – people are encouraged to take action throughout the entire year. To support the #PressforProgress, an easy first step is to improve your organization's leadership development strategy to include opportunities for female employees with varying levels of experience.
To get started, download Storming the C-Suite: Developing Your Female Leaders. This eBook outlines the steps you can take to improve leadership opportunities for women across your organization.
Investing in developing your female leaders will increase performance, productivity, and retention, and can positively affect your overall profits.
Get in touch with the corporate training and development experts at TrainingFolks to help implement or update your leadership development program and close the gap today.
World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report
1, 2 World Economic Forum: The key to closing the gender gap? Putting more women in charge
3 McKinsey: Delivering Through Diversity