The importance of women in business

With more women running Fortune 500 companies today than in any point in history, it’s no surprise that the trend of women making waves in business and the workplace is evident more so now than ever before. This is not to say that women are treated or represented anywhere near equal to men as they still only represent 6.4% of managers of these leading companies.

Issues like the gender pay gap, sexual harassment in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination, representation in C-suite positions, as well as performance stereotypes unfortunately remain. These are battles women in the workplace face on an everyday basis that also hold them back from progressing and competing on an equal footing with their male counterparts.

There are lots of benefits a company can derive from having more female representation in the office, these include:

Expand Your Talent Pool

Companies can expand their talent pool by being more inclusive in their hiring process. In order to fully benefit from this, companies need to create an environment that’s inclusive and makes women actually want to be a part of the team. This isn’t necessarily done by superficial means but rather by treating female employees equally and making them feel heard.

Fresh Perspectives

Leading on from the previous point of making your female employees feel heard, is the fact that women bring a different and sometimes fresh perspective to just about any industry. Having both men and women in your team means you get different perspectives and approaches due to their different life experiences and other societal factors. A variety of perspectives can spark innovation and creativity in your organisation and is sure to take your company to new heights

Collaboration and Communication

Several studies have indicated that women have stronger communication skills and are better at communicating than their male counterparts. Female managers are seen by both male and female subordinates as better communicators than male managers. Research has shown that females have stronger skills reading non-verbal cues than men. In this way, groups and teams with female participants have the potential to collaborate better. This is great for face-to-face projects but also has benefits for teams that are working remotely – when clear communication is crucial.

Greater Profitability

What company doesn’t want to maximise on their profits? Good news, having more women on your team can do just that. McKinsley’s report on Delivering Through Diversity speaks to this, while exploring the relationship between diversity and business performance. According to the report, the most gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above average profitability. But there’s also a penalty for not obliging – according to the same study, the bottom quantile for both gender and ethnic diversity are 29% less likely to achieve above average profitability.

While there’s a lot to gain from recognising the importance of diversity and women in the workplace, there is also a lot to lose if you don’t prioritize female representation. Women have a lot to contribute and giving them a safe and comfortable work environment will ensure that they perform at their best and boost productivity. These are just some of the reasons why with diversity and inclusion, everybody wins.

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