In an unprecedented time of massive disruption, women are creating a new standard for leadership. Leaders who are engaged, supportive, and unapologetic about it. Now two years into this global pandemic, women have made significant contributions to the success of businesses across the world.
We are beginning to see more representation of women across key sectors, and filling important seats in leadership positions. But, that is not to say that the pandemic isn’t continuing to take a toll on this segment of the population. The pandemic has disproportionately affected women in so many ways; their days are longer, they are stressed, they are burnt out, they are shouldering the emotional burden of their friends, family, and colleagues, and they are even leaving the workforce in unprecedented numbers because of the demands placed upon them.
Despite these factors, women are rising to the occasion to demand more from their leaders. They aren’t just demanding it; they are pulling up their bootstraps and doing it themselves. Women are showing up as committed people-focused leaders, and strong advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts (1). And in a time like today, leaders like this are critical to employee satisfaction in the workplace, professional development, and contributing to the business’s bottom line.
When staff members feel valued, they are happier. This happiness creates a feeling of belonging and mutual respect for others, which helps to reduce employee burnout. Happy employees translate into higher profits, because employee productivity can increase by up to 13% (2). When we publicly recognize and reward the employees who are driving progress, an environment of inclusion begins to trickle throughout the organization. This trickle down can turn into a steady flow, which nourishes an organization’s ecosystem.
Women encounter many barriers in the workplace that can affect their experience as employees. Some of these barriers include the biases other people have about them (i.e. conscious & unconscious bias, performance bias, attribution bias, likeability bias, maternal bias, affinity bias, etc.). Microaggressions and intersectional identity biases (i.e. race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, gender identities, etc.) can compound the effect of biases. So when we can take action to invite women and traditionally marginalized people not only into the room, but to thrive in the room, we can all benefit from the diversity in their lived experiences and learn from their unique ideas and perspectives.
What is good for women, is good for everyone.
What is great for women, is great for everyone.
When women succeed, everyone succeeds.
1) LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women In The Workplace 2021 Report.
2) Bellet, Clement and De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Ward, George, “Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity?” October 14, 2019. Saïd Business School WP 2019-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3470734 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3470734.