More women can be found in entrepreneurial and managerial roles than ever.
But despite this gradual historical change, female representation in business still lags far behind their male counterpart. And you don’t have to look too far to see evidence for this. ↓
Despite more corporations appointing female CEOs nowadays, women still account for a measly 6.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs in the US, according to Fortune.
But we need even more women in business.
The world needs to close the gender gap in business and leadership to encourage more female participation. This is not only about what is fair and just. There is an incredible catalog of data to support the various benefits “everyone” stands to gain with more women in business. We’ll discuss some of these reasons here.
● Women make great business leaders
There are probably a thousand factors contributing to female underrepresentation in business and leadership, but incompetence is not one of them.
In fact, certain natural female traits tend to make women as great a leader in business (if not better) as any man.
The Pew Research Center conducted a study recently.
The study surveyed 2,250 adults for their gender views on eight (8) primary leadership traits.
- Respondents in that survey ranked women as generally more creative, compassionate, and outgoing than men.
- 38% of the respondents said they believe women are more honest than men, compared to 14% who believe men make more honest leaders.
In another separate study by Hay Group, a renowned consulting firm, women outperform men on eleven (11) out of twelve (12) core emotional intelligence competencies.
Some of these competencies include emotional self-awareness, teamwork, empathy, adaptability, and conflict management, all of which are essential traits for business leaders.
● New insights, outlook, and perspectives for innovation
Businesses thrive on innovations, like the ones suggested through a KM Process. Improving women’s participation in entrepreneurship can help drive innovation for businesses and society at large.
Women make up about 37% of the world’s GDP with a global spending power of about $18 trillion. So, it’s easy to see why a business sector where the female gender is underserved and underrepresented can appear counterintuitive.
Tapping into the insights women can bring into a business will help drive significant improvement in business innovations, considering their consumer power and experience.
Along with core leadership competencies, women bring valuable consumer insights, fresh outlooks, and new perspectives to the table. This will help make products and services better and more marketable. It will also have a directly proportional impact on a business’s profitability and bottom line.
● Better financial outcomes for businesses
If the world needs a financial incentive to encourage more female participation in business, it will find a great one in this revelation from McKinsey that the most diverse businesses are 21% more likely to generate above-average profitability.
Creativity, productivity, improved team performance and collaboration, along with better employee retention, are a few of the many benefits of diversity in business environments. This is not about prioritizing one gender over the other but rather about ensuring a balance to support sustainability and the free flow of creative ideas.
● Improved financial position for mothers and underprivileged women
For a historically disadvantaged gender, women still have to bear a lot of responsibilities.
According to 2019 research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics;
- 80% of women say they are responsible for grocery shopping in their households.
- 71% of these women take on grocery shopping responsibility while still being the family member who primarily prepares the meals.
Despite this financial responsibility, women still face stereotyping and employment discrimination. Those in the workforce still earn 82 cents for every $1 a man makes in 2022.
Encouraging more female participation in business can go a long way to improve the financial position of many women facing employment discrimination and those who have to deal with unpaid caregiving and other family responsibilities.
For many of these women, entrepreneurship or side-preneurship (a term that describes owning a running business on the side, alongside one’s full-time job) appears as a possible solution to supplement their income.
While there are more women in business today than at any point in history, the current strides are commendable, but there’s still a long way to go. We need equal opportunities for women to push the global economy to its full potential.
Women in business, as well as aspiring female entrepreneurs, need to build and improve confidence, networking, and a growth mindset, being some of the key challenges most have had to deal with.
Our society also needs to move past its stereotype because women are as capable (if not more) as men, in business and leadership. The global economy will benefit more if we can get more women at the forefront of business.