An Excellent Return on Investment
Why invest in leadership training for women? First and foremost, research shows that organizations with a higher proportion of women in leadership positions get better results. Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization working to expand opportunities for women in business, has found that:
1. Companies that achieve diversity in their management and on their corporate boards attain better financial results, on average, than other companies.
2. Companies with the most women board directors outperformed those with the least on return on sales by 16 percent and return on invested capital by 26 percent.
When a Harvard Business School study interviewed CEOs of 24 companies and corporate divisions with a reputation for embracing diversity about why they pursued that course, their responses stressed both practicality and integrity: “They believed it was a business imperative because their companies needed it to stay competitive, and they believed it was a moral imperative because of their personal experiences and values.”
Women and the Career Track
Yet statistics show that, in general, the percentage of women declines at each successive rung on the corporate ladder. As noted in the Harvard Business Review article, Women in the Workplace: A Research Roundup, “Data from McKinsey’s most recent survey of 60 major corporations show that both the number and the percentage of women fall off dramatically in the higher ranks of organizations.”
Specifically, on average women made up:
53% of entry-level employees
40% of managers
35% of directors
27% of vice presidents
24% of senior vice presidents
19% of C-level executives
It’s possible that these numbers reflect the belief that leadership training for women is an investment likely to be lost due to attrition in favor of motherhood and family. However, Hunter College professor Pamela Stone’s work undermines some long-held assumptions about women and the career track. Drawing from a study of 54 female high achievers, recruited mostly from the alumnae of four selective colleges and universities, she found that:
- the women pursued their careers an average of 11 years
- 60% worked well past the birth of their second child
- none was pushed out
- fully 90% left not to care for their families but because of workplace problems, chiefly frustration and long hours
Follow Leadership Training for Women with Growth Opportunities
Leadership training for women is a valuable step toward creating a more level playing field for all high potential staff. While brain studies suggest that women may lead somewhat differently than men, there is nothing to support that they will lead less effectively. Men have more gray matter, the type of brain structure most adept at information processing; women have more white matter and connective tissue, making them able to spot connections between facts and the bigger picture more easily. According to the Harvard Business Review blog, Study: Women Get Fewer Game-Changing Leadership Roles, leadership training for women can be an effective and ultimately profitable strategy for companies when backed by equal access to challenging, high-visibility assignments and clear criteria for advancement.
Contact Magnovo Training Group to develop your leadership training for women.