Three Reasons Why Organizations Need More Women in Leadership

Sallie Krawcheck in Time magazine highlights three reasons why organizations need more women in leadership:

  1. Prevent Groupthink. Women can add much-needed diversity of perception. Sallie Krawcheck tells her story of being fired from her position of running Smith Barney at Citigroup during the financial crisis. She was fired for diverging from the groupthink of the financial industry by daring to suggest that clients should be partly reimbursed for losses caused by Smith Barney’s selling them high-risk products. Before she was fired, Sallie reports that she would not have said that her approach to decision making was related to her gender. After she was fired, however, Krawcheck’s research helped her understand that women tend to be more risk-averse and client-relationship focused—a value they can bring to the workplace and that she tried to bring to Smith Barney and the industry.
  2. Increase Stock Prices. Recent research shows that stock prices of businesses that have women in corporate leadership roles tend to be higher than those of their counterparts. These businesses perform considerably better and pay larger dividends to economic investors, even during economic downturns.
  3. Increase Pay Equity. Krawcheck, in an article in Forbes, also points out that companies with more diverse leadership teams have lower gender pay disparities throughout the workforce.
It’s not that women are better leaders than men; it’s that the diversity of perspectives women bring to a leadership team are complementary and can help prevent groupthink and challenge conventional wisdom. Women often bring greater focus on relationships and fairness to decision making. But it’s also very important that there be more than one token woman (or token anyone) on the team to have a chance of different perspectives being seriously considered. These are three of the reasons why organizations need more women in leadership, and I’m sure there are many more. What reasons come to mind for you? What examples do you have of times when diversity made a difference?]]>

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