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Why Women in Leadership Roles is Key to Innovation!

Why women in leadership roles is key to innovation? It’s a bit like adding the missing link in the chain. It’s the part that makes the process complete. It adds substance, a different perspective and a different experience. Time to challenge the “norms”!

The Learning Curve!

We have learned a lot from the last decade of disruption. Moving into the next decade of 2020 and beyond. Time to maximise our learnings?

I remember vividly the day we bought our first family computer. Back in 1998! A time when “our norms” were challenged. It was a huge occasion!

My children had just started high school and they needed a computer for their schoolwork. They were so excited when the computer arrived. They just logged on and instantly they were creating word documents, excel spreadsheets and even developing powerpoint presentations!

As I watched their excitement, I was in awe! How did they know to navigate round a computer? Clearly our brains were wired very differently! I felt inadequate and scared as I could not understand all the technology at that time. It was like moving into another world.

When 2 Worlds Collide!

It was a case of the baby boomer generation meets head on with the millennial generation. 2 worlds colliding to make sense of the disruption that was happening. Not only from a technology perspective but from a human perspective also.

My children are part of the Millennial generation. Life for them was always about disruption. Born between 1981 – 1996 the millennials make up more than 52% of the current workforce. By 2025 the millennial workforce will have increased to 75% globally.

Some Millennial Characteristics!

Millennial key characteristics :-

  • Tech savvy, optimistic
  • Idealists and financially responsible albeit with a massive student loan debt
  • Achievement and team orientated 
  • The view of their world is flat, they have no leaders.
  • 70% of them check their phone every hour.
  • Money is important to them however,
  • They are more focussed around lifestyle
  • Experiences are more important than material possessions.

The Workforce!

Currently 5 generations are in the workforce.  All working differently with different beliefs,  values and needs.  Millennials are focused on prevention. In other words changing the traditional way of working.

Focussing on generating and trading knowledge in organisations will become the norm, rather than material possessions. 

Future Workforce!

Moving forward knowing the skills and attributes of our workforce. The need to generate and share knowledge will require innovation and creativity.

The millennial workforce of the future has a different perspective of balance. Reforming workplaces. Balance will be the new currency. Change of focus around energy and freedom. Looking for inspiration not control! To be visionary.

So whats the point?

Why Women in Leadership Roles is Key to Innovation! Workforces are being driven to transform their organisations to become agile.

Requiring a different type of leadership. Women are vital for this change. Bringing different skill sets. Exploring challenges with a different perspective.

Organisations that want to be successful will be agile. Ever changing and flexible. Morphing into a new expression. Changing culture as times and values change.

Future leaders will be visionaries, coaches and architects. Becoming catalyst’s for change.

Women in leadership roles matter?

Research indicates that having women in leadership teams improves problem solving. Provides a different perspective based on their experiences. People with different lifestyles and backgrounds challenge each other more.

The article also mentions, teams that have innate and acquired diversity are found to be better positioned. Understanding the changing needs required to develop winning innovations.

By breaking down personal biases forces organisations to work inclusively. Increased communication fosters creative solutions. 

In summary the data suggests that homogeneity restricts innovation. However, organisations that are dominated by any one ethnicity made worse decisions.  

Further research highlights that women are generally more successful and outperform men when:-

  • Lead geographically
  • Have diverse teams
  • Change cultures 
  • Delivering under high uncertainty
  • Delivering high profit margins.

Gender diversity relates to more productive companies

  • A diverse workforce is more appealing to attract talent
  • Similarly, when diversity is valued, diverse idea exchange occurs
  • In addition investors like diverse workforces

Research conducted by Pew research centre found women are stronger in key areas:-

  • 34% better at working out compromises
  • 34% more likely to be honest and ethical
  • 25% more likely to stand up for their beliefs
  • 30% more likely to provide fair pay and benefits
  • 25% better at mentoring

Moving into the next decade the research is supporting more female leaders in the workplace. A time has come where both organisations and individuals can collaborate to support growth and innovation. A time to benefit from five generations of knowledge, skills and experience.

Would love to hear your thoughts?