Why you should hire more women
According to the World Bank, aging populations, low investment and tightening monetary policy will constrain global expansion. In 2017, the world’s economy grew three percent. It is expected to maintain that level to 2020. But then it will get tough, says the bank. Major reforms are required to release further potential.
Changes that encourage women to enter and thrive in the workspace would be transformational. There are almost as many women as men on the planet. Yet in 2016, only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies had a female CEO.
In Australia, according to Joyful Communications, there is an AU$8 billion gap in potential GDP, due to women who graduate from a university but drop out of the workforce early. Only 15 percent of ASX200 company board positions are held by women. There is a female talent pipeline leak. It is costing serious money. The pattern is repeated in many countries.
In Japan, women are very well educated, but typically do not enter the workforce and stay. Goldman Sachs says that Japan could increase the female employment rate by more than eight million and add 15 percent to GDP.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), increasing global employment rates of women would result in huge gains. If women worked at the same level as men in Egypt, the country’s GDP would grow by 34 percent. The UAE would see a 12 percent increase. Germany and France would increase four percent, and even the United States would see five percent more growth. Gender parity for India would mean US$700 billion of additional GDP in 2025. According a recent McKinsey study, advancing women’s equality could add US$12 trillion to the global economy.
Getting more woman into business is not just about closing the pay gap, providing flexible working hours and building better child care resources. There remains an inherent male bias to overcome. Yet women are well equipped with many of the qualities required for success in business. They have many solid business characteristics, including robustness and the ability to survive.
Steve Austad, chairman of biology at the University of Alabama, says women are better able to survive than males at any age. He studied this for 20 years. His database shows that all over the world, and as far back as records began, women have outlived men by five to six years. According to data from the Global Gerontology Research Group, there are 43 people in the world aged 110 or more. Of these, 42 are women. Women have higher pain thresholds too. Ask any father who has witnessed the birth of his children. Leave that task to men and see how long humanity survives!
Let’s agree then, that biologically, women are tougher than men.
But what about financial decision making? Terry Odean, a University of California professor, studied gender investor performance over a 20-year period. Individual female investors outperformed individual men by 2.3%. Female groups outperformed male groups by 4.6%. He concluded that men made more bad investment decisions than women. Men allowed one-upmanship and bragging to impact their behaviour. Men held onto their losses longer. Women were more emotionally detached and quicker to unload losing stocks. Men exhibited more bravado and greater reluctance to accept mistakes. The positivity illusion which clouds critical thinking affects men more than women.
We are in the Information Age. It is fiercely competitive, so we need better communicators. Women tend to be more skilled at that than men. Global businesses require expanding networks. Women are natural networkers. Retaining top talent requires relationship strategies. Women instinctively care about building relationships. Rapid changes in technology require more flexibility. Women have extensive multi-tasking abilities.
To drive improved performance, companies need more talent and stronger leaders of whatever gender and at all levels. The talent pool can be doubled as more women are included. Is your business growing fast enough? How many of the leaders in your business are women?
Mark Dawson is RT Imaging World’s Regional Partner for Europe and the Middle East.
He joined the imaging supplies industry in 1987 and has held senior positions with both American and European corporations, including MSE and Clover. He is currently a director with IOP (Internet of Printing BV) whose mission is to help independent resellers ﬁnd new revenue streams and optimize margins.
Dawson is partnering with RT to bring VIP Expo one day intensive events to Europe and the Middle East. For more information please contact him at <mark@ iopbv.com>
You can read more of Dawson’s opinions:
- Why You Should Hire More Women