In the U.S., more women than men are graduating from college and women constitute the largest consumer base for many organizations. So why do women hold only 15.7% of board seats of Fortune 500 companies?
The lack of women present in top leadership positions was the topic of discussion during Randstad’s Women Powering Business breakfast and panel discussion.
Diversity of Perspective Reflects the Marketplace
Stacie Hagan, Chief People Officer for EarthLink, Inc., said that having a woman’s perspective at the leadership level is a huge advantage for companies. “If companies are not addressing the marketplace with a woman’s perspective you will absolutely fall behind,” she said.
Gender Mixed Boards Produce Bottom Line Results
Marilyn W. Midyette, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, said that numerous studies have shown that companies that have women on the board perform better. “Businesses that have women on the board and women in senior executive roles far outperform on the bottom line compared to those who don’t,” she said. “I think it’s because women have a much more holistic and multi-dimensional perspective on problem solving. We often can develop deeper relationships with employees who then engage on a much deeper, committed level and can help produce bottom-line results.”
Women Leaders Have Emotional Intelligence To Be Strong Leaders
Pamela Scully, Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies at Emory University, said that with more than 50 percent of the world’s population comprised of females, it makes no sense not to have women at the leadership level.
“Researchers are showing women are good at emotional intelligence,” she said. “We’re good at empathizing, trying to understand where someone is coming from and not being scared to admit when we’re wrong.”
What’s your take on the issue? Do you think companies lack women in leadership roles?
Women in Leadership Panelists:
• Keynote speaker: Susie Wolff, a development driver for the William’s Formula One (F1) team
• Academic: Pamela Scully, Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies, Emory University
• Business: Pat Falotico, Vice President, IBM
• HR: Stacie Hagan, Chief People Officer, EarthLink, Inc.
• Philanthropic: Marilyn W. Midyette, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta