Whenever you think of the word leader, what is the image that comes first to your mind? Most of us imagine a leader to be an Ivy League-educated man who went to business school or became a politician. And this is a huge problem, as being a leader has unquestionably nothing to do with your gender, your occupation, where you went to school, or even what your bank account looks like. Rather it’s about having a common vision. It pertains to a message that you can bring people together— whether you’re taking humanity toward a movement or an idea or a philosophy — and helping people achieve what they want. It is not about having people get you more of what you want.
We need to bring more women into the spotlight, if we want to create a better world for everyone. Why? It’s pretty simple:
1. Representation is the key
There is a need of more leaders who look like us. We’ve got an entire generation of girls who we need to set the example for. It gives a sense of immense power in viewing yourself embodied in positions of power. By means of representation, people get a feeling of acceptability. It has the potential to shape not only how the world sees people in those marginalized communities but it also affects how people in those societies view themselves. If young girls never view themselves in government, in NASA, or in other prominent positions, how are they believed to know that stepping into those positions isn’t just possible but plausible.
2. True equality means equity
We are the part of a society that loves chattering about equality and fairness. However, in reality, there is no impartiality in equality. On account of major systemic issues like racism, sexism, and other forms of intolerance, equal access to things like education, opportunities, and leadership positions doesn’t essentially imply we’re going to witness just access to education, opportunities, and leadership positions.
This is because equality isn’t the same thing as equity. For an instance, if there’s a leadership position that opens up within a company that everyone can apply for, that doesn’t essentially imply there’s equal and impartial access to that leadership position. Men are 30% more expected to be thought of for jobs than women in spite of having identical qualifications. Apart from this, in spite of making up nearly 47% of the labour force, only 7.4% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs.
Having said that, you don’t need to feel that women aren’t starting businesses, actually they are running their own businesses. As per the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, women-owned businesses embody 42% of all businesses. This amounts to 13 million businesses employing 9.4 million workers). Apart from this, women-owned businesses are growing two times faster than all businesses countrywide. Besides this, women are crushing the side hustle game—with a 39% rise in the number of women with side gigs (as compared to 21% rise in female-owned businesses and 9% rise in the number of all businesses). You need to know that female minorities are two times more probable to start side gigs.
However, female entrepreneurs also go through senseless hurdles. The sad part is they are less probable to search for funding, less probable to get funding. Also, they have to deal with the complex role family plays in female entrepreneurship. Not only this, there’s the burden of emotional labour, and more.
When the entire system is stacked against women, equal access doesn’t just fit the bill. This becomes more important considering women of colour — implying, if you truly care about fairness, then there is a need of equity instead.
3. Female leadership pays dividends
- One of the hard truths is that many women do not feel like they can be leaders. However, the reality is that they make wonderful leaders. Numerous studies and real-life examples demonstrate that putting women in leadership positions is a good decision for everyone.
- Businesses established by women earn two times the amount per dollar invested than those instituted by men and produce 10% more revenue over a 5-year period.
- Companies with assorted leadership teams are more pioneering (and more economically successful) than those without.
- Companies with female CFOs witness, on average, a 6% rise in profits. Also, they see an 8% rise in stock return compared to men. Also, they bring their companies an added $1.8 trillion in overall profits.
As per a recent study, women-led countries handled the coronavirus pandemic better than those with men in positions of power. Over and again, we have witnessed that women emerge as better leaders than men, be it business or politics. The entire world will reap the benefits of women leadership. Women are thought to be better at forming safe workplaces, respecting those from different backgrounds, bearing in mind the societal impact of business decisions, mentoring, and offering fair pay and good advantages. So, the question is why wouldn’t we look for more women in positions of power?