Studies Show Women Might be the Missing Link to Your Leadership Team

Updated: May 8, 2019


During a time when gender equality is on the rise, isn't it amazing that women still only comprise 10.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs? In the world of nonprofits, the picture is just as bleak. While 75% of the nonprofit workforce is made up of women, only 18% of organizations with annual budgets of more than $50 million had a female CEO. A 2015 article in the Nonprofit Quarterly maintained that: "the richer the organization, the less gender diversified its leadership."


It's unfortunate that women are often overlooked and not valued in the workplace; especially as studies show that companies greatly benefit when they diversify their leadership teams to include more women. Don't believe me? Here three proven ways that women rule the world and will add value to your mission.


Women Get it Done.


As we've always known and now research supports, women improve communication and innovation as leaders.


Generally being action-oriented is associated with men, while being more analytical is traditionally linked to women. However, recent research indicates that women also get in done, but it a different way, particularly within collaborative climates.


A 2015 Gallup research study concluded that female managers were better at engaging employees by forming connections with their team. Women were also better at providing recognition, performance feedback, and assigning roles that positioned their direct reports for further development.


According to Michael Stallard, an author, speaker, and leadership and culture expert, with continued growth in the knowledge economy, relationships will be essential to innovation.


"As a former Wall Street executive who left the Street to become an author, speaker, and consultant on leadership and organizational culture, I can also tell you that in a knowledge economy, relationship excellence is especially critical to employee engagement, productivity, and innovation."


As co-coordination demands rise, women leaders are more effective than men at team cohesion, co-operative learning, and inclusive communication.


As co-coordination demands rise, women leaders are more effective than men at team cohesion, co-operative learning, and inclusive communication.



We Can Do Anything Better Than You.


Not an entirely accurate statement, still the Journal of Organizational Behavior released a report in June of 2015 by Associate Professor Corinne Post entitled, “When is Female Leadership an Advantage?” She found that as co-coordination demands rise, women leaders are more effective than men at team cohesion, co-operative learning, and inclusive communication.


“The special thing women leaders bring to the team is that they exercise relational leadership practices, stimulating high-quality relationships, bonding, and connectivity among members. This can be a strong advantage when teams are challenged by size, geographic dispersion, and functional diversity.”


More Women, More Money.


Groupthink is a hell of a drug, and most companies are unknowingly drinking the Kool-Aid due to a lack of diversity in leadership. The Peterson Institute for International Economics completed a survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries and discovered that empowering women in leadership results in less gender discrimination in recruitment, promotion, and retention. Further, the presence of women executives significantly increased net margins; specifically, through the techniques mentioned above which improved communication and innovation.


While research has cracked open the door for women in big businesses and corporations, it's apparent that it will be a slow uphill battle. There's still hope. Startups, small companies, and corporations have the opportunity to shift the trend and not follow in the footsteps of big brother. The data is there, so what will you do? In the words of Phylicia Rashad, "Where the women go, the culture goes."


How can your company support women leaders? Do you have a mentor program or on-boarding process that nurtures relationships and developing?

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