Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, recently said, “So, if 50 percent of the staff at a company is female, and women drive 70 percent of the buying decisions for its products, what possible rationale can senior management have for leaving women out of the corporate decision-making process?”
Exactly. What reason could companies have? We’ve all seen it attributed our lack of seniority in corporate America to child rearing, the need for flexible hours, and myriad excuses.
There’s even research to back up that companies having a woman on the board performed better in the stock market by an average of 26% over the past six years.
But there are so many reasons why a woman in the corporate decision-making process is a good thing.
1. Women bring a sense of humanity and caring. After all, a company’s primary asset is it’s human capital.
2. Women are emotional, but that is often a necessary component to drive passion behind a corporate initiative. Companies are all rallying around change and innovation as a means to driving growth and staying competitive. Combine a woman with vision and her passion and you have a force to be reckoned with towards accomplishing the goal.
3. We will bring a different point if view. The female perspective can help a company avoid landmines if the company is targeting a female audience.
4. We are doers. We will walk out of a meeting and mobilize.
5. Women are consensus builders, which is a trait of a good leader.
6. We are honest and forthcoming in discussions.
7. We will do the homework: from the food on the table, to the school we put our children in, we will be notoriously thorough. And that same discipline is something we bring to the boardroom.
The step Norway took to institute legislature and require a percentage of board members to be women was a step in the right direction. We have companies held to ethnic diversity standards; why not gender equality in the boardroom?