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Leading Women: Developing Leaders for the New Economy.

Far beyond being a global goal defined by the UN in its fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Gender Equity transcends a perspective of social transformation. When we talk about women in strategic positions within organizations, we are also talking about RESULTS (and this is a language that the market understands very well!) .

According to the UN itself, companies with female leaders have results up to 20% better. To reach this conclusion, the report presented by them analyzed more than 70 thousand companies in 13 different countries. Respondents reported gains in productivity, profitability, creativity and innovation in teams with greater gender diversity. In addition, 57% of those surveyed said they saw improvements in reputation, that is, in the company’s public image.

The Director of the ILO Department for Employers’ Activities, Deborah France-Massin, says that “the study is clear: companies should look at the gender balance as a basic issue, not just as a human resources issue”, after all, the Most companies that embrace diversity have reported 10% to 15% growth in their revenue.

Bingo! When we talk about profitability, we finally get your attention. But you might be wondering: where do these results come from?

In a global survey of 64,000 people, 66% agree that “the world would be better if men thought more like women”. Source: John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule The Future, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2013.

“When we talk about female leadership, it is important to be careful about reproducing the stereotypical image that they are ‘more sensitive and intuitive’. We are talking about something much deeper than that. From childhood, whether in school or family life, women are typically encouraged to develop characteristics related to communication and flexibility.” says Halina Valdívia de Matos, professor of the Leadership and Teams discipline in the Administration course at Ibmec in São Paulo.

Women in leadership positions showed more efficiency during the health crisis that affected practically all companies, as they presented more positive results and contributed more significantly to worker engagement, mainly due to the use of interpersonal skills – the so-called soft skills. – such as collaboration, teamwork and motivation. Social-emotional skills build an arsenal of new tools that improve relationships in organizations. In this way, it is possible to better connect with others, establish trust and avoid or minimize conflicts. According to the Diversity Matters Survey, carried out by McKinsey, it is not a cause-effect relationship, but a triggering of consequences:

  • Greater talent attraction
  • More understanding/customer focus
  • More team satisfaction
  • More assertiveness in decisions

And the gains don’t just stop at advances in leadership, culture, engagement and interpersonal relationships. Companies that are more open to diversity (of all types) also tend to be more INNOVATIVE, after all, the more different perspectives we have = the more we burst the bubble = the more we foster innovation = the more we generate growth. The study “Getting to Equal 2019: Creating a Culture That Drives Innovation” by Accenture shows that compared to companies with a low degree of diversity, the most diversified companies have a 600% greater innovation culture.

And when the market starts to see all this, it begins to transform! It’s no use throwing these women into these positions like a catapult, without first preparing the ground for the challenges that will follow – inside and out!

In addition to training them, empowering them and presenting ways to position themselves, it is necessary to nurture a respectful and inclusive environment for everyone.

That’s why when we talk about International Women’s Day or celebrate achievements, we are talking about something that goes far beyond just celebrating important milestones or valuing the women we love: we are mainly talking about (re)learning.

Relearn to position ourselves – as women in the environments we are in

Relearn how to treat other women – for both men and women.

Relearn to observe situations and keep us more alert so we don’t reproduce behaviors that no longer fit.

And like all learning, each one in their own time, each in their own way.

But always moving forward. Always evolving.

And without a doubt, we will reap the rewards of all this.

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