Top 7 Reasons Why Women Business Leaders Are Needed

 


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That’s what they say…but business is being done a new way. Massive technological connectivity and access to tidal waves of information is causing a shift in society, workers attitudes and how business is done.

Rapid changes in technology are causing disruption in the way corporations do business. Communication is now digital. Products are now digital. Marketing and delivery of product and services must be done in a different way.

Added to that, the evolution of global business environments has significantly increased competition and stress on the traditional corporation.

One other important shift is that now the “knowledge worker” (skilled and experienced) is now becoming the most valuable asset of the corporation versus capital equipment and they are leaving corporations by the thousands.

So what is a corporation to do? Find and retain the best people.

I believe a new, better corporate structure is evolving and it will take women of ability paired with men of ability to make it the best and most profitable business. However, few women make it to the top management positions.

This is where many women’s development programs have failed. They simply addressed the soft skills of mindset and confidence for women.

The truth is that successful business is led by people of experience with specific business skills AND the right mindset.

This is why we must develop women managers further through learning experiences, coaching and training that insure the results a corporation needs to obtain highly skilled women leaders.

Here are some reasons why we need more women as leaders in business:

  1. Women, on average, are terrific communicators and tend to be better at it than men. It’s the information age and it’s highly competitive. This means companies will need more skilled communicators involved in all aspects of business where good, clear communication is critical to generate revenue, control expense, manage top talent and build a loyal customer base.
  2. Global business will require expanding business networks. Women are natural networkers.
  3. Diverse viewpoints can result in better, more creative solutions to business issues. Both women and men are needed to address business issues effectively.
  4. Keeping a talented knowledge worker will require relationship strategies. Women instinctively care about building relationships which is why they tend to gravitate toward jobs where building relationships is a major component such as Marketing or HR.
  5. Increased competition will require the resources of creative thinkers to develop new products and services that meet the needs and desires of the marketplace. The talent pool of creative leaders is doubled when more women leaders are available.
  6. Rapid change in technologies requires more flexibility. Women have extensive multi-tasking abilities as evidenced by women who manage business and families at the same time.
  7. Half of the workers available today are women. Women in leadership roles can act as mentors to develop other potential women leaders just as executive men have done for years.
With all this said, women are still not reaching top levels in management. There are several reasons for this.

Part of the reason is societal in that women were often not included in business conversations as they were growing up so they did not have the opportunity to learn. Part is that the corporate structure was invented by men for the way men think and work. Part is that women are still the primary managers of the family and cannot always dedicate all their time to the company.

In a recent survey conducted by Womencorp, there were some striking differences between what men believed and what women believed about the “why” women are not succeeding as corporate business leaders.

Of the female respondents, 68.3% believe that lack of flexible options for work is holding women back. 51.7% believe that lack of confidence is also a contributing factor. 45% believe that women aren’t given a chance because men stick together.

This was what one woman had to say about that subject: “This is a very complex issue. What I have found, after seven years at {a major corporation}, is that men seem to internally denigrate qualified technical women (perhaps because of jealousy). They do form cliques and do not wish to ‘include’ women in their cliques. They are group-oriented, no doubt. They will hang with other guys, just because they are guys. There are individual males who communicate well with women, but they are few. Despite years of emphasis on including women, promoting women, and hiring women, I feel that the disparity of women in the business world is growing, not shrinking. Still, both men and women do not seem to ‘get it’. I wish I had something more positive and constructive to give, but I do not. ”

On the other hand, 53.7% of men believe that lack of flexible options is holding women back. 32.3% said they feel the glass ceiling is still firmly in place and just 17.9% believe that women lack confidence.

Perhaps men don’t realize women lack confidence, whereas women know how they feel. This mindset can be altered with a proper development program for both women managers and men who manage women.

This comment from one male participant is noteworthy: “Capable women are often unfairly fast tracked early in their career to positions that may demand experience to be successful over a prolonged period. Found wanting, they are then niched in dead-end executive roles. Rather like moving a ball player to the majors too quickly because of their native talent. Their “rookie" mistakes occur with too much exposure and can prove fatal. ”

But what difference does it make as to why few women have achieved top leadership roles in business? The reason to know why is because we can then use this information to develop solutions.

The bottom line is that more women need to be in leadership roles for many reasons including the 7 listed above. The challenge is to find new ways to enable them to succeed at top levels.

For both men and women respondents, they seem to feel that coaching, mentoring and multi-day workshops are quite important to help develop women leaders to their fullest potential.

The Womencorp Team agrees and is working to make a difference for women in business. Would you like to help? Just take a moment to fill in this quick 30 second survey:

For Women
For Men

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Brian Kirk
Womencorp
(205) 835-8167
http://www.womencorp.org

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