Thanks to reader Maggie Voelker for sharing this link to an interview with Kattie Kay, co-author of the book Womenomics, on why women are faring better for jobs during the recession.
Unfortunately, the interview emphasized that women get less pay and are more flexible. They touched only briefly on the importance of having a balance of men and women in the workplace.
Recent studies in the United States, Great Britain and France show that companies with women comprising at least one-third of their leadership team make more money. In these countries, the more women on a company’s senior management team, the less its share price fell in 2008 during the economic downturn.
In another study that spanned the last 19 years, Pepperdine University found that the Fortune 500 companies with the best record of promoting women outperformed their competitors by anywhere from 41 to 116 percent.
A report released by Ernst & Young in the World Economic Forum in 2009, Groundbreakers: Using the strength of women to rebuild the global economy, shared research that demonstrated the need to capitalize on the contributions women make as leaders, entrepreneurs and employees when moving the world’s businesses and economies forward.
If you look at the talent pool, women represent 60% of university graduates in Europe and North America (70% in the United Arab Emirates).
I don’t think this should be an Us vs. Them conversation. I think it should be a We conversation. As we move out of the recession, how can companies develop a gender-balanced workforce at all levels? How can we move away from this conversation as a diversity issue into development and retention issue of top talent, regardless of gender?
This blog generally focuses on helping high-achieving women find contentment and direction. I also think it’s important for businesses to know how to retain and promote all their high-achievers, but especially the women since the numbers at the top levels are still embarrassingly low even though they can drastically improve profitability. I would love to quit talking about gender diversity, but until the workplace is balanced, we have to keep having the conversation. Please help me get the word out.