As diversity, equity, and inclusion become more integrated into our society, it's important to look at the non-traditional benefits women bring to high-performing teams. Despite holding only 14% of senior executive positions among Fortune 500 companies, women are often highly rated by their colleagues in various categories associated with successful companies. For organizations to survive in a 21st-century workforce, they need employees who can blend intellectual qualities and emotional qualities by bringing their whole selves to work. In this article, we'll look at how organizations benefit from developing women employees and leaders.
Women Score Higher In Key Leadership Skills
A 2011 survey of over 7000 leaders revealed that women were highly rated by their bosses and direct reports in key categories that contribute to successful leadership. Women leaders were rated higher in categories such as taking initiative and solving analytical problems, which are qualities stereotypically associated with men.
When these findings were shared with women who work in corporate environments, they all expressed a feeling of having to work harder than men to prove themselves in the workplace. Women also reported they felt pressure not to make mistakes which could lower their perceived value. These sentiments show that women don't feel safe bringing their whole selves to work in most workplaces. Only by establishing a psychologically healthy team can organizations pull the most potential out of their women employees and leaders.
Women Leaders Embrace Purpose
By studying differences in leadership styles between genders, research from the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention found that women are more likely to lead by appealing to people's attitudes and beliefs. In contrast, men are more likely to lead through using rewards and fear. Women leaders are quick to embrace aligning the individuals on their team with purpose and meaning. This is essential to getting employees to buy in, especially in a remote work environment where interactions with people are limited.
Leading with logic and emotional intelligence are both necessary for high-performing teams, and they each have their place. However, emotional intelligence is an intangible that allows you to tap into your employees' true potential. Women leaders are quicker to embrace qualities that help employees feel heard and understood. The value of this cannot be overstated, especially during a time where teams are separated by physical distance. Our Pathways to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program introduces your employees and leaders to how they can embrace these skills in their work habits and leadership style.
Investing in creating a psychologically healthy workplace makes it easy for women to feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. With working at home becoming more popular, it's important for women in particular not to feel embarrassed due to at-home duties that can interfere with work. Psychologically healthy workplaces help all employees take a balanced approach to work and life, making it easy for people to thrive by bringing their whole selves to work.