How Women Leaders Are Building Better Places To Work
By Carrie Kerpen
Source from Forbes
Plenty of research shows that women-lead companies perform better financially than those led by men. One recent study compared the performance of Fortune 1000 companies that had women CEOs against the male-dominated S&P 500’s performance, and found that the 80 women CEOs produced equity returns 226% better than the S&P 500. But there’s also evidence that women are building workplaces that perform better for their employees, too. According to the findings from Capital One's Spring 2019 Small Business Growth Index Survey, when it comes to competing for talent, women small business owners (55%) are more likely to market their business as a great place to work than men (37%). And it’s not surprising why.
It’s impossible to truly engage employees if they don’t believe in where the company is headed. A new study from HR data platform Peakon finds that organizations where women hold at least half of executive positions are more likely to have employees who understand and believe in the company’s mission,products, and strategy—and feel more inspired by its purpose.
At the day-to-day level, women have also been found to do a better job at connecting with their employees. In 2015, Gallup research found that female managers are better at engaging employees than male managers, and were rated higher in areas such as giving recognition, providing helpful performance feedback, and getting people in the right role to grow.
Recruiting & Retaining Talent
Multiple studies have found that more people would prefer to work for a female boss. In 1953, when Gallup first asked U.S. workers, “If you were taking a new job and had your choice of a boss, would you prefer to work for a man or a woman?” two-thirds said they preferred a male boss and just five percent preferred a female boss. Six decades later, now one-third would prefer a male boss, while 20%would prefer a female boss (46% say it doesn't matter).
In a recent study from Berlin Cameron, The Harris Poll,and The Female Quotient, research reveals that half of Americans would prefer to work for a female-led company over a male-led company. Why? A majority say that these companies are more purpose driven (56%), more likely to include access to childcare (78%), and are more likely to offer equal pay (75%).
Driving Diversity & Inclusion
In today’s workforce, where companies are waking up to the importance of diversity and inclusion, it’s women who are really leading the way. According to the Spring 2019 Capital One Small Business Growth Index,more women small business owners (57%) believe a diverse workforce drives more business innovation than men (50%). A recent survey by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Executive Development shows that female-led businesses are more likely to have a mature diversity and inclusion function, and are less likely to run into hurdles with senior leadership. Organizations with female executives are also 13% more confident in their organizations’ ability to achieve their diversity and inclusion goals. And they rank higher than male-led organizations in several key areas, including awareness of bias (27%), appreciation of difference(17%), and understanding of diversity (21%).
Despite the progress we’ve made in putting more women in leadership positions, we still have a long way to go. According to Weber Shandwick’s Gender Forward Pioneer Index, among the world’s 500 largest companies, only 10.9% of senior executives are women, and 37% of these companies have all-male leadership teams, while 21% have only one woman. This, of course, is to the detriment of the companies themselves, as there’s clearly so much evidence that gender diversity has a positive impact on company performance. Ultimately,having more women at the helm isn’t just about equality—it’s good for business and good for people, too.
Carrie Kerpen is the cofounder and CEO of Likeable Media and the author of Work It. She's passionate about connecting women in digital via her podcast, All the Social Ladies. Tweet her @carriekerpen.