Whether you call it feminism, equality, or just smart business, the push for more women to take on leadership positions is undeniable. The current trends certainly look promising; 2017 is set to have the highest number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies ever, the number of women serving on boards in the past decade has more than doubled, and women-owned businesses are growing at a rate of five times the national average.
However despite these advances, struggles still remain. Less than a quarter of senior management positions are currently helmed by women - something many credit toward too many firms simply not giving women a chance. A lack of access to opportunity is one of the largest hurdles facing women in business today, and it’s also something that could be hurting companies’ success in general.
Differences make the world better. Having women, minorities, and members of the LGBT community in leadership opportunities makes organizations think differently and improve processes. Change and pushing organizations forward only makes them better.
Having a diverse set of perspectives will always help a business
In a world where company culture is found to be the most important aspect for millennial employees, organizations are finding that women tend to be better at building a successful culture through different approaches on communication, problem solving, and conflict management than are traditionally seen from male leadership. This means attracting and then keeping the best employees, something every business needs to do to remain competitive.
While men should be more open to giving women a chance, it is extremely important for women in business to help pull each other up so more have a seat at the table. It’s one of the many reasons I’m a member of the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO), Women in Economic Leadership Development (WELD), United Way of Central Ohio’s Women Leadership Council, International Women’s Forum’s Ohio Chapter, and Women’s President’s Organization (WPO) Columbus Chapter. Creating great relationships with successful female entrepreneurs allow us to help find each other business opportunities and grow professionally.
When I am in leadership positions it is my responsibility to bring other women along and suggest other women for leadership opportunities. Within my business, whenever I need a service, I always check with women I respect and trust for a recommendation. I am intentional about working with women and minority owned businesses whenever there is a need for my business.
We can all find more success by supporting each other
I have been given an opportunity and it is my duty to reach back and give another woman an opportunity as well. I think it is vital for people to come from a selfless position – not looking for business, but looking at how they can help another business grow. When we empower each other, our community flourishes.