In 2019 34.9% of all businesses were owned by women, a figure which increases each year (Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019). However, while there have been significant improvements for women in the workplace there is still a long way to go, with women more likely to be underemployed than men, and mothers more likely to be unemployed than fathers (ABS, 2019).
Catalyst (2018) talks about the 'double bind' phenomenon that affects women becoming leaders in the business world. Their research shows classic gender stereotypes create a 'no-win' situation for women, where they are viewed as either competent or well-liked. If a woman takes charge in a leadership role she is seen as competent, but is rarely liked. While if she is nurturing and personable as a leader, she is well-liked but seen as incompetent. These gender stereotypes, amongst other factors, assist with the low number of females in executive roles.
So, as International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020 approaches, let's celebrate the benefits of having women as leaders in the workplace, because there are plenty of them!
Gender diversity is important in the workplace. Studies have consistently shown, that where there is gender diversity in the boardroom the return on assets and return on equity is 74% higher than companies without women in roles of leadership (UC Davis Study 2016).
Even more powerful, when there is a female CEO or head of board of directors, those companies are likely to have more than double the return than other companies (Nordea, 2017).
Globally if there were more women participated in the workplace, so that female participation was equal to that of male participation, then the global output (or GDP) would increase by USD 28 trillion by 2025 (McKinsey & Company, 2016).
In short, women generally improve the bottom line when in the workplace. So this International Women’s Day we want to encourage all women in business, and those thinking of starting their own businesses, as we look to the future.
This is not legal advice.
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash