A 2016 Peterson Institute study concluded that inclusion of women in leadership roles has a positive impact on company profits. It surveyed 21,980 companies globally across 91 countries and found that companies that had at least 2 women in executive positions in the C-Suite and 2 women in board positions actually had higher profitability than those that didn’t have this diversity. The highest statistical correlation appeared in the C-Suite executive roles.
Research shows that a gender diverse workforce leads to a more inclusive organizational culture which has incredible power to build increased profits for organizations. Diversity and inclusion have become a powerful tool in a company’s business strategy for success.
HostingCon education has always focused on new ideas to increase profits and revenue for the cloud and service provider ecosystem. To that end, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition is sponsoring the panel, “Connecting With Regional Groups To Improve Your Company’s Diversity” moderated by long time hosting industry leader Elizabeth Kurek, Director of Channel Marketing, Virtuozzo.
A study from Catalyst.org, a known authority on women in business, cites four qualities of being an inclusive leader: empowerment, accountability, courage, and humility. Being an inclusive leader means you create a workplace culture where employees feel connected and supported. Inclusive leaders foster innovation and creativity, and an opportunity for everyone to advance and thrive within the organization. Are you an Inclusive Leader? Here are the attributes:
Are you an Inclusive Leader? Here are the attributes:
Empowerment – Inclusive leaders encourage team members to solve problems, not just do a job. They want their team to have new ideas and develop skills that will empower them to be a better resource for the whole organization.
Accountability – Inclusive leaders are confident in their team. They don’t micro-manage but, instead, hold them responsible for their performance. They let them own the responsibilities and have control over the outcomes.
Humility – Inclusive leaders are open to input and feedback. They can admit mistakes and learn from them. They will know their own limitations and seek assistance from others to overcome and be successful.
Courage – Inclusive leaders will put aside their personal interests to achieve what needs to be done. They are not afraid to do what is right, and will often take some risks to ensure the correct outcome.
An inclusive leader will foster a workplace where diversity is valued, and where women can find a balanced organization. However, a single inclusive leader can’t change an entire organization. There needs to be top-down sponsorship at the senior level in organizations to really drive and sustain a culture of inclusion and a balanced workforce.
Organizations need to build a culture in teams that celebrates the collective brilliance of the organization. Successes and failures should be celebrated. Cultures that embrace innovation, experiment with pilots and new ideas and improve along the way will create an atmosphere for success.
There are several things specific things any organization can do to build a culture of inclusion.
Attract Female Candidates – One of the simplest things you can do is targeted recruitment programs to have more women candidates for open roles in the organization. Being deliberate in the organization about hiring positions that can have inclusion benefits is important.
Identify Internal Talent – Be on the lookout for women to mentor into roles with additional responsibility and cross functional training. Identifying talent early and developing them inside the organization will greatly benefit your efforts of inclusion.
Enable Women into the Executive and Board level – Building women into management roles, hiring at least 2 executives into your C-suite, and ensuring your corporate or advisory board has at least 2 women are all techniques to enable an inclusive and ultimately more successful organization.
Here are a few resources to enable the success of tech men and women together in the workplace:
Global cause for social good at http://heforshe.org/en
The authoritative agency on women: http://www.catalyst.org
The 20 by 2020 initiative – 20% women in America on public company corporate boards https://www.2020wob.com
Training for women executives, women in business, mentoring forums: www.ccle.org
Growing program to teach middle school girls to like and value technology (when they learn and love it at this age, they are more likely to enter the field later) : www.techgirlz.org
Inclusion is a trait to be valued throughout an entire organization. Being an inclusive leader and taking proactive steps to be inclusive as an organization are great ways to help promote women in tech. Done well, any organization can find its way to increased success and higher profitability by employing these techniques.