About 4.2% of CEO positions in America’s Fortune 500 companies are filled by women, despite research that shows a correlation between diversity in the boardroom and superior financial performance. In fact, other studies have shown that the collective intelligence of a group rises significantly if it contains more women. A study that focused on companies within the UK, North America, and South America found that for every ten percent improvement in gender diversity, there was also a two to four percent increase in that company’s profits. As you can see, women board members bring incredible value to a company, and it is important that managers do all that they can to support women’s efforts to pursue leadership roles. Here are some ways that managers can promote more women’s leadership development.
Research has shown that women along with people of color are less likely to receive assignments that some would describe as “glamour work.” This refers to projects that can help them expand their skills and get them noticed by the people who make the decisions about promotions. They are also less likely to receive leadership tasks like managing a project or presenting to a client. These assignments can help them develop their leadership skills. Managers should keep tabs on any past and future projects and who they were assigned to, so that they can see if there is an equal representation of men and women. They should be able to identify any female employees who have the skillset and career goals that make them good candidates for upcoming projects creating more equitable development opportunities for the team.
In a survey looking at the gender leadership gap, female respondents were about three times more likely to report a work and life imbalance than their male counterparts. Due to the high demands for women who work, many of them are hesitant to take any time off for professional development. However, managers who understand the importance of this kind of development will encourage their employees (male or female) to take advantage of those opportunities and even provide any resources needed to do so.
The concept of gender diversity can vary between industries. Research revealed that about thirty percent of female directors that were appointed in 2016 were on consumer boards, with 24% of them on industrial boards. By introducing gender pay gap reporting, you can identify yourself as a company that is embracing gender diversity and inclusion. You want to establish any potential female candidates that your organization will support them in their career goals to move up the organizational ranks. It will foster more growth within the company and make your organization a welcoming place to work.