The body of evidence pointing to the crucial role of women in driving positive change through greater representation in leadership positions continues to grow.
Recent research found that greater diversity on company boards reduces the number of environmental lawsuits – for each female added to a company’s board, the likelihood of being sued for breaching environmental laws reduces by 1.5% ! A former report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate also found that parliaments with a greater number of women are more likely to bring forward and ratify environment protection measures. The base themes here are supported by research in to gender differences, showing that women are less compromising with their personal ethics when it comes to business decisions.
Apart from driving more responsible business practices, research also shows that companies with higher gender diversity report higher profitability and that Britain’s most successful companies tend to have a large proportion of women in senior management roles.
In spite of the evidence, the number of female leaders among company and public sector boards is still outrageously low. This is, for example, illustrated by the number of male CEOs named David (8) outnumbering total female CEOs (6) among the FTSE 100 companies in 2016. Or that only 23% of the world’s politicians are women, according to a UN report.
Still, it is not all doom and gloom. There are many inspiring female leaders’ stories that are worth sharing and celebrating. In the UK the proportion of women appointed to boards of public bodies grew by 15% over a period of three years, rising to half of all positions (49%) in 2017. And the number of female CEOs among the Fortune 500 Companies doubled between 2010 and 2017 (this was the peak number to date – 32 female CEOs within the Fortune 500, however, the number has reduced since then).
This is also not to say that only female-led businesses will be operating responsibly towards the wider society and environment. The lessons rather should be to promote and celebrate female leadership, invite women to top-level decision making in both private and public sectors, and be open to learn from their unique strengths and aptitudes.
As a growing female-led company, committed to driving responsible business practices in the hospitality industry, we have full faith in women’s ability to lead, succeed and bring about positive difference in the world.