Strong leadership is critical for effective organizational, team, and individual performance. The role of women in leadership has proven instrumental to an organization’s success. Research studies have shown that diversity in the workforce and leadership brings different perspectives to an organization, which, in turn, boosts creativity and encourages innovation and the search for new ways of doing things. This then leads to better decision-making and, in the end, greater overall success.
Inclusive and diverse female leadership is key to sustained global development as the world continues to confront urgent challenges- from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change, deepening inequalities, conflict, and democratic backsliding. The United Nations is working around the world to enable more women to take their rightful seats at decision-making tables.
The value of gender diversity- particularly in the workplace- is widely acknowledged. Women bring different perspectives and approaches to business, resulting in a more inclusive workplace and often better performance for the company.
Women at the workplace drive employee engagement and retention, simply by bringing a family-like feel to the team, making the environment less authoritative and more cooperative. Women leaders are good communicators and capable of making bold and wise decisions. Many organizations are creating opportunities for women through training, counseling, and diversity-focused events. Heads of organizations are building a robust structure of women candidates at all levels to ensure an equitable gender distribution.
Communication is said to be among a woman’s strongest skills — and female leaders know how to use it! Whether communicating with employers, co-workers, or partners, an open communication stream allows for clarity in executing roles and responsibilities. Female business leaders can communicate regularly, clearly, and openly
Academic studies show that women are more likely to lead through inspiration, transforming people’s attitudes and beliefs, and aligning people with meaning and purpose (rather than a carrots and sticks approach). Since transformational leadership is linked to higher levels of team engagement, performance, and productivity, it is a critical path for improving leaders’ performance. Female leaders have been proven to be more likely to coach, mentor, and develop their direct reports than male leaders. They are true talent agents, using feedback and direction to help people grow. This means being less transactional and more strategic in their relationship with employees, which also includes the openness to hiring people who are better than themselves because their egos are less likely to stand in the way. This enables them to unlock other people’s potential and promote effective cooperation on their teams.
At the end of the day, the only notion that matters is that increasing female representation in leadership would augment rather than reduce meritocracy. The best gender equality intervention is to focus on equality of talent and potential- and that only happens when we have gender-equal leadership to enable men to learn different leadership approaches from women as much as women have always been told to learn leadership approaches from men.