When a woman fulfills her inner potential, she inspires the ecosystem around her to do the same. The size, shape and influence of this ecosystem ranges from home to society to city to country and sometimes even the world at large. A woman lies at the center of the driving, life-giving force of nature and her leadership brings the same powerful and compelling benefits to the society she inhabits.
The top three benefits associated with female leadership are:
1) Financial stability & strength – Fortune 500 companies under female leadership report significantly better financial performance, as attested by the research organization Catalyst in a 2007 report. Companies with higher female board representation did better than the ones without.
When given access to capital, women tend to use it for the benefit of society at large. According to research, women give back more to the society in economic, infrastructure and opportunity terms. Hence, it is important to acknowledge the power of the old adage about educating an entire family by extension when you educate a woman.
2) Creating connections & transformative cultures – In measuring the ability to craft meaningful relationships, women leaders have been consistently rated higher, according to Harvard Business Review. Through their natural qualities of attentive listening, compassion, nurturing and collaborative action, women create more powerful and deeper relationships resulting in transformed cultures at workplace and disciplined individuals at home.
It has been observed that women skilled at building relationships within a company are also likely to do well at building relationships with external stakeholders— cultivating new clients or negotiating difficult contracts, for instance.
3) Renewed capabilities to design & deliver – Feminine strengths play a significant role in restoring an organization, society or a home in times of crisis. Having gotten used to facing challenges throughout their lives, a woman learns to build resilience in a deeper and broader way. The benefits are then not limited to herself but extend to whosoever she comes in contact with.
As Margaret thatcher put it, “In politics if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman”. Women leaders have consistently displayed this unique ability to be able to do the job and bring it to conclusion.
The extensive research in the field also points to a variety of benefits that organizations stand to reap when they increase female representation and participation in the top echelons. Naturally great at multi-tasking, women are able to don multiple hats while staying on their toes to fulfill their responsibilities towards family, friends and society at large. Whether it is building a billion-dollar business or winning medals at the Olympics, women are change leaders in every sphere of life.
Organizations and societies that fail to harness feminine talent risk limiting both their economic and non-economic growth and opportunities.
Neeraj Tyagi is an Executive Coach and Co-founder, Greenlatte, a firm coaching CXOs in India.