“To improve diversity, women may hold the key, but men generally still control the lock.” Olivier Marchal, head of the French operation of Bain & Co. (source)
That quote says it all. For companies to thrive in the future (and frankly, in the present), they need to learn how to create a more diverse leadership team. Women play an integral part in that diversity. Research from Catalyst shows that Fortune 500 companies with three or more women on the board of directors experience returns on equity on average of 83% higher than companies with just a token woman or two on their boards.
To date, companies have been forcing women to adapt to the male-dominated thinking and behavior of it existing leadership requirements. Savvy companies are quickly learning that this is not the way to go. Instead, some companies are realizing that the key to long-term success is to adapt the company to more thoroughly embrace women. It turns out that changing the company is far more effective than changing women. It’s about time.
This information comes to us from Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland whose new book, Why Women Mean Business, will be released in March 2008 and focuses on, “understanding the emergence of our next economic revolution.” Sounds like a must read for women in business.