Why create women-friendly organizations?
To remain competitive:
Research shows that when more women lead, performance improves. The workplace-research group Catalyst’s study of 353 Fortune 500 companies found that those with the most women in senior management resulted in more than a third higher return on equities. ROE and return to shareholders goes up by as much as 34%.
In addition, “When the Chartered Management Institute in the U.K. looked ahead to 2018, it saw a work world that will be more fluid and more virtual, where the demand for female management skills will be stronger than ever. Women, CMI predicts, will move rapidly up the chain of command, and their emotional-intelligence skills may become ever more essential.
That trend will accelerate with the looming talent shortage. The Employment Policy Foundation estimated that within the next decade there would be a 6 million – person gap between the number of college graduates and the number of college-educated workers needed to cover job growth. And who receives the majority of college and advanced degrees? Women. They also control 83% of all consumer purchases, including consumer electronics, health care and cars. Forward-looking companies understand they need women to figure out how to market to women.” Claire Shipman, “The Future of Work– Women will Rule Business” Time
To retain talent:
Multiple surveys show that women enter the workforce in their 20’s with the same or higher level of ambition as men but at mid-career men’s ambitions and confidence stay the same, while those of women drop dramatically. Studies show that fully 90% of women leave organizations not to care for their families but because of workplace problems, chiefly frustration and long hours. A company capable of creating women-friendly organizations and learning how to maintain the drive of its women as they progress in their careers is a better bet for a long stint than one that allows the more common diminishing trend to occur.
To create organizations that support women in flourishing is a multi-dimensional effort. From new policies that support flexibility, to addressing the culture’s unconscious bias that works against women, to creating safe settings—coaching relationships, a women’s leadership program, a support group of peers— in which women can discuss feedback and share best practices for advancing their leadership are all positive steps. It starts with a conversation.