NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
Richard Branson is quick to point out in a recent article for Entrepreneur.com that his company, Virgin, isn’t perfect in terms of putting women in executive positions and including women in its boardrooms. However, his company is moving in the right direction. That’s because Branson understands why we need more women in the boardroom.
Research shows that women make the vast majority of purchase decisions and make up approximately half of companies’ employees. Branson asks, “If 50 percent of the staff at a company is female, and women drive 70 percent of the buying decisions for its products, what possible rationale can senior management have for leaving women out of the corporate decision-making process?”
Branson explains what companies need to do to ensure leadership teams are more diverse:
“If you are looking to increase the number of women in leadership positions at your company, you might start by considering what opportunities female employees have for career advancement, and what barriers they may be encountering. Ask women from every area of your company about their experiences and for their advice.
“Women often encounter gender-based stereotypes about who is qualified to do what kind of job, which can sometimes persist in subtle ways and must be challenged at every level. This may be addressed by offering female employees more flexible working conditions; in some cases, putting in place better policies for both maternity and paternity leaves may be a good start.
“Fixing this injustice isn’t just good for your team: it’s good for business. Several studies have shown that gender equity in senior management and at the board level brings many tangible benefits. A report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute revealed that those firms dominated by men had recovered more slowly since the 2008 financial downturn than those with a more balanced male-female ratio.”
Get the details: Richard Branson on Why We Need More Women in the Boardroom via www.entrepreneur.com