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News & Views

July 14, 2014

Business case for more women in leadership?

Vince Cable

Are you taking gender diversity seriously enough?

The recent guest  blog Women in Leadership: Is your business missing out?  for Business West by Kaye Welfare highlights the business case for taking gender diversity at all levels in your organisation seriously.

Gender Diversity is often seen as a nice to have BUT issue. Think again!  There is a robust business case for more women at senior level, these are just some of the reasons:

– it’s easier to understand your customers if they are equally represented at all levels.
– without diversity, you risk group-think, which limits innovation and opportunities for improvement.
– you could be missing out on the best talent if you don’t offer an environment and culture that appeals to women.
– women may bring different approaches to leadership that add real value to organisations.
– recent studies have shown that a better gender balance at senior level increases profitability and reduces the impact of risky decision making.

What’s more, a lack of gender diversity makes organisations look out of touch and risks their reputation, which could lead to losing customers and talented employees.  That costs money!

More and more organisations are seeing the benefits of offering flexible working arrangements on productivity and the improvement in board effectiveness that a better gender balance brings.  However there is still a long way to go. We still need to develop talented women in the work place and create a culture for them to thrive and get to senior level.

 The great majority of business leaders I meet with now recognise the economic case for gender balance and are actively working  to increase the number of women on their boards and executive committees. But we must also challenge the paternalistic culture and silent assumptions about women’s priorities that are ultimately keeping the glass ceiling in place.  This is not just about gender equality, but about improving the performance and productivity of companies,” Vince Cable.

How are YOU encouraging gender diversity?  Think of it in hard business terms as core to your organisation’s success.

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