Our world has come a long way from days when women only entered the workforce when men went off to war. However, women are still underrepresented in leadership positions. Only 4% of Fortune 500 companies in 2016 were run by women – virtually the same percentage of companies run by a man named “John.”
The Center for Creative Leadership conducted a study of 750 leaders and aspiring leaders. The sample represented men and women from a wide range of ages, industries, organization sizes, leadership levels, and ethnicities. Their findings indicated that having more women in the workplace can significantly improve an organization’s culture. Having a higher percentage of female talent in an organization correlated with higher job satisfaction, more organizational dedication and more meaningful work. Women in the workplace also predicted less burnout in a variety of industries.
Barriers persist in both government and business opportunities despite public agreement that women are equally qualified. Most Americans find women and men indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits, like intelligence and innovation. Women are even considered stronger in fields like compassion and organization. Despite these facts, 4 in 10 Americans agree that women must do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves worthy of climbing the ladder.
Improved Bottom Line
Fortune 500 companies financially outperform other companies when they have high representation of women on boards. In addition, gender-diverse teams across many industries have higher sales and profits than male-dominated teams. As far as average revenue, gender-diverse business units outperform those with less women in the workforce.
A quarter of all Americans think humans will colonize on Mars before half of Fortune 500 companies will have women in CEO positions, according to a study by the Rockefeller Foundation. However, 81% of americans said that if a daughter of theirs chose to pursue a leadership position, they would feel confident that she had the ability to succeed.
Younger generations are more receptive to the idea of women in leadership than those in older generations. In fact, encouraging powerful women has become part of a movement for equality in American culture. More than 70% of Americans say having more women in leadership positions would positively change organizational policies and begin closing the wage gap.
Looking to the Future
With so many benefits to gender diversity in the workplace, many of us are wondering why more women aren’t in leadership positions. One way to bridge the gap is for women to help other women in business. A solid mentor can do wonders for someone with strong leadership potential.
The number of women in the workforce has grown 62% from 1980 to 2015. We still have a long way to go for true workplace equality, but strives are being made each year. In today’s world, an increased number of women are being awarded opportunity to showcase their true leadership potential.