In today’s era, there is no longer a field of action in which women do not occupy an important place in decision-making. Globally, approximately 47% of women are employed and yet they still face strong pressure to rise in a corporate world characterized by a male vision of leadership. Yet Kimberly Rosales, an entrepreneur with years of experience, firmly believes that female leadership has everything it takes to bring about positive change in the corporate world and explains how.
“When I think of that role not so properly distributed among women, Nuria Chinchilla, with a strong experience in business management, and author of books related to equal opportunities between women and men in business, jumps to my mind,” says Rosales. “Women are gaining space, ladies and gentlemen.”
Nuria Chinchilla, in some of her writings and conferences, recently shared not only her experience as a leader, but also as a participant in the “Gender and Work Symposium, Research to change the world: translating ideas, transforming practice” that took place at Harvard Business School.
There, ideas for advancing women’s leadership in business were discussed and shared. Although there is minimal evidence of gender differences in leadership, it has been shown that women are more transformational, collaborative, democratic and relational.
The interesting thing about this symposium is that several initiatives were put on the table to boost women’s leadership in the company. One of them, in addition to changing business and social structures so that work and family life can be reconciled, is research and teaching in the classroom to raise awareness and train tomorrow’s managers and leaders in diversity.
“Women are present in leadership positions. That is undeniable,” assures the expert. “With 2013 Catalyst data from the corporate sector in the US, 24% of women have held senior management positions.”
According to the latest research of the International Business Review (IBR), a Grant Thornton survey applied to 5,520 companies in 36 economies around the world in 2016 in Latin America, statistics say that 18% of senior management positions are held by women. There are tasks pending without a doubt, but it is better to see the glass half full than the glass half empty,
This has led Rosales to focus on those women whose business leadership has made a difference, not only in their companies, but in the fields in which they have performed and continue to perform. And this trail of optimism about women’s leadership is due to the success stories that exist around the world on company boards.
And to the firm steps that countries such as Germany have taken in this regard, with actions such as the fact that the full German Parliament approved with a large majority (something worth highlighting) the bill that will introduce a minimum quota of 30% of women on the supervisory boards of large companies. This should not only be seen as a quota forced by the changing times, but also because of the evidence that organizations that employ women in top management report greater financial benefits in doing so.
A 2010 Adler study showed that companies that promote women in senior management are 18% to 69% more profitable than the average company in their industry. On the other hand, an Economist study showed that the return of companies where women were represented on boards was 10% higher than those where they were not.
But there are those who have already proven their leadership and effectiveness in their work. One of them is Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She has also been CEO of eBay in 1998 and helped it grow into the hugely successful business it is today. She came to Hewlett-Packard to drive the process of reinventing the brand, and since her arrival, profits have been up 70% this year.
“But why does Marissa Mayer’s name ring the loudest when we talk about women leaders in business? Because she, who is part of Fortune magazine’s list of 20 female CEOs, caused a stir among working mothers when she announced her decision to end telecommuting at Yahoo,” explains Rosales.
Before joining Yahoo!, she worked in product development at Google for 13 years. She had allies and detractors, but she made significant improvements to Yahoo! ‘s standing in this competitive world of online communication.
Female leadership in the business world exists and has worked well. But as in the poem, the world’s leading women entrepreneurs are still making their way and the evidence is with them.