The Future of Business: How Women Will Change the World
The world of work has changed dramatically over the past twenty years; it has evolved from a rigid set formula into a more flexible and agile arena. The reasons for this are complex but can often be attributed to innovations in technology and cultural shifts. Traditionally men have been the main breadwinners within families, but due to women having more education under their belts than any other period in history before, they now are in positions of power and are more influential in the once male-dominated workplace.
Research by Cambridge University has found that as women gain more economic power, which is calculated by the expected number of years in education and percentage of women in the workforce, the number of women in boardrooms and positions of influence correlates. It means that as women become further empowered within society, it reinforces their position in business. A link which is interconnected and mutually enforcing.
Businesses that have women in the boardroom have been seen to outperform their competitors in the same industries. There is a very real link between gender diversity and business success, which is down to several factors:
· Work-life Balance
Work-life balance is a phrase that is often bandied about but seldom understood and can make even the most hardened corporate manager come out in a sweat. Often managers consider the term to be woolly and incompatible to achieving goals. Women are more familiar with the juggle between work and family commitments and tend to be more flexible and forgiving than a ‘work first’ mentality. Flexitime, remote working, job sharing, and even childcare vouchers are now no longer viewed as a favour to an employee, but rather as an essential business strategy to bring more talented, dedicated women into the workplace.
· Focus on Results
The hours spent in an office chair do not relate to the success of the task at hand. A female friendly environment understands this, and there is an emphasis on efficiency and results rather than office politics. Flexibility promotes getting the job done efficiently whether it be working four longer days rather than five regular days, working from a shared office space such as thebrew.co.uk, or even completing a task once the children have gone to bed.
· Leadership Style
Women tend to be less directly competitive than men, and their management style tends to focus on agreement, mediating and collaboration to achieve results. This is termed as transformational leadership and ensures that employees tend to be more loyal and effective. Not only do individuals strive for personal success under this style of leadership, but they care deeply about the success of the team.
There is an untapped reserve of highly educated and skilled women that have had to reject working in their preferred industry at the level they should be at due to the rigid structures of the workplace. However, as more women are recruited to positions of power and influence, this scenario will become a thing of the past and all demographics will benefit from this diversity and equality.