We need more women in management positions. And this is not just what women are saying, but also what recent research into business profitability has shown. Female leadership makes companies more human, encourages competitive values and is supportive to other professional women. Many big companies are already taking advantage of this enormous potential and these can be an inspiration to others.
Tech Executive Search cites the Peterson Institute for International Economics study, which found that companies with women in management positions are more profitable. This analysis of more than 21,500 international organisations concludes that “companies with at least 30% of women executives in management positions have 15% higher profits.”
Women in management positions
Women bring a new style of leadership which enriches organisations. Without wishing to generalise, women add an attention to detail to the overall perspective. They are more open to the unknown and to listening, and they are not afraid to ask questions to gain understanding. They quickly perceive personal conflicts and tend to show tact in resolving them and in motivating people. They have a great desire to overcome challenges, having had to break down barriers for centuries. They believe in collaboration and delight in “win-win” negotiating methods.
Female leadership makes relationships with companies more human and focuses on the new competitive values of empathy, collaboration, communication and consensus. Without forgetting that half the customers of any given company are women.
Companies have to be prepared to rely on them. They must be open to diversity, eradicating discriminatory attitudes, breaking through the glass ceiling and implementing conciliation and equality policies, with special emphasis on equal maternity and paternity leave. They must also contract both junior women as well as men from the lower levels and facilitate promotion based on merit.
The presence of women in management and senior management positions
At most events in which female managers describe their experiences, they agree that they have managed to reach positions of high responsibility thanks to the support of other women. Female managers usually show solidarity to one other when it comes to opening doors and supporting each other along the way. They insist that their professional careers are not just difficult because of male resistance or the glass ceiling that exists in many companies, but also because of their own self-sabotage, as well as the fear of not being good enough or not giving enough time to their families. They say that the key to success lies in perseverance and in building up a reputation.
Female managers have also been able to create alliances with one another, with professional organisations such as Sheleader or Womenalia, through which they can receive advice, training and establish contacts with each other. Through these associations, they also unite to raise the visibility of the work of women in society.
The percentage of women in management positions in Spain is 27%, according to Women in Business 2018, . According to this study, after a major improvement in 2015, growth has since been very slow. Although the number of companies that do not have any woman in management positions is decreasing.
Of course, in the US there is a ranking of the most recommended companies for female executives, called the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE). Companies which recognise the value of female entrepreneurs and develop practices that promote real opportunities for professional growth and promotion.
To continue growing, Sheleader insists that it is vital to change the social mindset, starting at schools. In addition to following certain recommendations, such as:
- Analysing training and promotion structures in the company: What criteria are used to carry them out? Do discriminatory attitudes exist? Do they contain sexist language or stereotypes?
- Adapting them to the different needs of men and women.
- Raising awareness among senior managers.
- Promoting the participation of women in all areas of the organisation.
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