The imbalance of women in business leadership positions persists despite the growing number of studies that consistently find the same thing—businesses with diverse leadership teams, which include women in executives roles, perform better than businesses that lack women at the top.
The infographic at the end of this article includes a number of statistics that prove just how big the gender gap is in business leadership. For example, did you know that women run 30% of the world’s businesses but only 5% of the world’s largest companies?
The Difference Women Leaders Make
Here are a few statistics from the infographic that prove just how much women executives impact business results:
- Fortune 500 companies with the highest proportion of women in top leadership positions achieve 35.1% higher return on equity.
- Fortune 500 companies with the highest proportion of women in top leadership positions achieve 34% higher total return to shareholders.
- Companies with more than one woman on their boards of directors have achieved a 3.3% higher stock market return every year since 2005.
- Companies with women in top leadership roles score higher on all aspects of organizational effectiveness.
- Business leaders believe that meetings where both genders are present are more professional, formal, and results-oriented.
So what’s a woman in business to do? The data shows that companies with women in leadership positions perform better than companies without female executives, but the gender gap persists. The infographic below provides a couple of strategies to help you navigate through the gender roadblocks in business.
First, take a page from Sheryl Sandberg’s book, and speak up for yourself. Second, like Sandberg, leverage your emotional intelligence and your ability to understand people.
What are your tips for overcoming the gender obstacles you face in business? Share them in the comments below.