The last few years have seen the number of women business leaders steadily increasing, with global numbers reaching record highs nearly every year.
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For many decades, men have dominated business. However, attitude changes over the last few decades have helped to bring in a new age of equality, and women now have more freedom than before in many parts of the world. Although women in some countries often still face prejudices against them and restrictions on how they can work, the tides are turning.
The last few years have seen the number of women business leaders steadily increasing, with global numbers reaching record highs nearly every year. According to Fortune, a record 23 women were in management positions at Global 500 companies in 2021. This number, up from only 14 in 2020, represents the proportion of female CEOs in the Global 500 at its highest level since Fortune began keeping track of this information in 2014.
However, while the number of female leaders is increasing, there is still a big disparity between the number of male and female executives. Courses such as a women’s leadership development programme are available to give women the skills they need to help change the world of business.
How to Role of Women in Business Has Changed
Originally, women were pushed towards roles seen as supporting, such as teachers, secretaries and nurses and received a lot of resistance when trying to get into business. Over time, attitudes around the world have changed somewhat, and there is a growing trend of equality.
Many women nowadays are making an effort to fill positions that were previously filled exclusively by men. Organisations such as Women in Tech and improved opportunities in work and school have led to a steady and gradual change. It’s now more likely than ever that women are hired in an executive role, as gender is no longer considered when hiring.
Some research has shown that by employing women in leadership roles, a company’s performance can improve. According to research from academics from the Universities of Glasgow and Leicester, companies with more than 30% female executives were more likely to outperform companies that don't. In addition, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies at the bottom.
Research from other studies has come to similar positive conclusions, with women not only more likely to help a company improve financial metrics but also reduce risk. According to the Economist, women are less likely to be corrupt than men, and this can lead to better ESG ratings for a company and, therefore, better profits too.
The Future of Women in Business
Keeping investors satisfied, sustaining cash flow, and achieving steady growth are hurdles business owners must overcome. But merely due to their gender, women still have extra and particular challenges to overcome.
Women who work and have families have increased demands on their time, energy, and resources; this is especially true if they also have obligations for childcare, illness, or school. Additionally, despite the fact that more men are choosing to stay at home to raise their families, they don't appear to be subject to the same pressures as women to find new employment.
Clearly, there is still a lot of progress to be made, as there is still a lot of room to build on the progress made in recent years. Women are being taken more seriously than ever before, but there still needs to be a further shift in attitudes to ensure that they’re receiving equal opportunities as men. Judging by the research, closing this gap between men and women leaders in business could also lead to a stronger economy and a happier society.