Companies have compelling reasons to act and bring women into top leadership roles. "
In a survey last year of 366 companies, consultancy McKinsey & Co. found that those whose leadership roles were most balanced between men and women were more likely to report financial returns above their national industry median." McKinsey & Co. also found that companies with a more balanced leadership "do a better job recruiting and retaining talented workers, reducing the costs associated with replacing top executives." And, "They also have stronger customer relations because management better reflects the diversity of society, and they tend to make better business decisions because a wider array of viewpoints is considered."
The statistics are alarming. "While women made up 37 percent of the total workforce, they comprised 22 percent of middle managers, 14 percent of senior managers and vice presidents, 9 percent of executive committee members and 2 percent of CEOs." Organizations will need to become more flexible and allow women to have more power, while still being able to handle their family life at home. Flexibility is key. It has been proven that women can climb the career ladder, but then reach a halt when they begin a family. "The report suggests employers need to move beyond the idea that "family-friendly" policies such as flexible working hours are enough.This means re-examining "unspoken but powerful perceptions," such as the assumption that women are riskier hires because they are more likely to give up their careers for parenthood. Women also have a role to play in ensuring that their spouses are "real partners" in sharing household and child-care responsibilities, the authors say."
Businesses today need to find a way to strike a gender balance in the workplace in order to thrive in the future.
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