The month dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements is coming to a close – but the drive for parity surges forward no matter what the calendar says. This is especially true for women in business. The press for progress continues and, as it turns out, is actually good for your bottom line.
When denied a seat at the table, women build their own
To be sure, there are still some grim numbers out there. Women only receive four percent of commercial loans and two percent of venture capital. And while more women than ever participate in the professional workforce, they only account for 27 percent of chief executives.
Yet with remarkable resilience, women continue to demand a seat at the table.
Just think, in the U.S. alone:
- Women now own over 36% of businesses.
- Women-owned businesses are growing at four times the rate of businesses owned by men!
- Many women who’ve started their own businesses say that they did so as a way to overcome obstacles related to gender, like unequal pay and lack of opportunity for advancement.
Gender diversity is good for your bottom line
More and more, those in the know are paying attention to some fascinating facts about women in business:
- Startups founded by women are more successful. First Round Capital learned that startup teams with at least one female founder performed 63 percent better than all male teams. The data also showed that women are present in the top ranks of their ten most valuable companies.
- Organizations focused on innovation have higher revenue when women are in leadership roles.
- Diverse teams mean increased intelligence, sparks of creativity and enhanced reach into the global marketplace.
It’s increasingly clear that clinging to old stereotypes and bias in hiring practices can actually hurt your business and leave you behind. Gender diversity means more customers, better sales, and higher profits. Working for gender parity and equal opportunity is important because it’s the right thing to do. And as the data shows, not doing so may actually cost you.
It’s time to get strategic about disrupting old patterns of discrimination – and reap the benefits of the female voice in business.