Women possess unique skillsets that can benefit businesses immensely; however, to reach the top they must be given opportunities.
Stepping up your company’s diversity and inclusion (DI) efforts can open up many doors for business leadership. The first step should be educating yourself on the history and ways of breaking through glass ceilings.
Diverse leaders are crucial in an environment requiring continuous reinvention, sparking fresh ideas. Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, understands this challenge well: she rose from low-income surroundings to become one of only nine female partners at law firm Cravath Swaine and Moore before dedicating her career to fostering open, accountable communication and driving innovation.
Research increasingly shows a correlation between gender diversity in leadership and company performance – specifically regarding environmental, social and governance standards – and increasing female representation in management positions. But in order to succeed in increasing female numbers at senior management levels, companies must first address any lingering gender stereotypes and avoid the trade-off between valuing competence over being liked.
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As opposed to many female CEOs, Griffith worked her way up from claims representative at Progressive Corporation since 1988. Over time she became its Chief Human Resources Officer, leading to an inclusive diversity program launch and serving as President of Claims before eventually being promoted as COO for Personal Lines before finally becoming CEO in 2016.
Though she boasts impressive business acumen, she remains approachable and strives to foster an inclusive environment for her employees – something which has allowed the company’s culture to rank highly in various studies.
She takes great pains to meet with new hires by randomly selecting a table in the company cafeteria, inviting them all for lunch, and showing her leadership qualities directly. This exemplifies how she exhibits leadership capabilities first-hand.
Even when CEOs prioritize gender diversity by setting lofty goals for proportion of women in leadership roles, selecting diverse slates of candidates for senior positions, and developing mentoring and training programs, they frequently become frustrated. Research suggests that companies with more women in top leadership positions tend to outperform competitors; however, details are scarce on which specific mechanisms lead to this improvement.
One reason is that simply placing more women into leadership positions doesn’t create the necessary conditions for them to learn what makes effective leaders. Instead, women need to be encouraged to discover and build on their strengths with training programs in empathetic leadership that help overcome any barriers they encounter along the way.
As the most effective means to promote women in business leadership roles, committing to gender equality and inclusion as central elements of company culture may prove most successful in encouraging female executives. This helps mitigate any subtle bias that hinders women from excelling as leaders.
Mary Kay Ash
Mary Kay Ash was an American entrepreneur who established Beauty by Mary Kay cosmetic company in 1963. Over her lifetime, she empowered millions of women worldwide to believe in themselves and pursue their goals with determination. She pioneered creating opportunities for female workers that allowed them to earn both money and self-respect through work.
She carefully considered both internal and external organizational environments in making strategic management decisions, with great success as proof. Her leadership style proved to be effective.
According to Bowerman, a company’s revenue directly relies on key leadership skills like collaborative decision-making and people development. According to research, women in executive roles tend to show greater expertise in these areas. As such, businesses should pay attention to gender differences when hiring practices take gender into consideration – it will allow them to identify qualified candidates more quickly while improving performance levels while simultaneously increasing chances of women becoming leaders in business leadership positions.