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BW Businessworld

Importance Of Women Leaders In Achieving Sustainable Growth

A balanced workforce with strong female representation comes with inherent benefits for any business to reach its full potential.

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The business case for a diverse and inclusive culture goes far beyond the bottom line. Companies perform better when they have diverse teams of employees, including gender diversity. This fact was overlooked some years ago. However, gradually companies internalized and acknowledged that a strong women workforce is an equally important proponent of growth and development. Research showcases that mixed-gender boards and women in leadership roles is good for business. As per a report by Harvard Business School1, firms that increased their proportion of female partner hires by 10% saw, on average, a 1.5% spike in overall fund returns each year and had 9.7% more profitable exits.

Studies showed women bring crucial traits into managerial roles, making them stronger. The emergence of female leaders can become the central point for positivity and development. Globally and in India, we have been witnessing examples of female leaders changing the world with their knowledge and drive for change. We have ambitious and capable women running influential organizations and activating change through technology and policy.

A balanced workforce with strong female representation comes with inherent benefits for any business to reach its full potential. The economy of any country amplifies when the other half of the population is enabled to have more opportunities:

· An organization with an inclusive working culture is a natural morale booster and a major motivating force. It not only enables more employee retention but also contributes to a strong and progressive reputation.

· With diversity and mixed representation come diverse ideas. It stimulates creativity and allows more quality in business operations.

· A diverse workforce is also seen as welcoming and warm, thus, enabling any organization to connect with its customers with more affinity.

Encouraging more women into leadership positions remains critical given the dynamics of the current times.

Talking about India specifically, the country has several schemes and progressive legislation that aim to empower women and increase their participation in the economy. The country realizes economic empowerment of women is extremely important to bridge the gap of gender inequality. It is important for all the important stakeholders including the industry, authorities, academia and society at large to challenge the stereotypes, unconscious bias and uphold gender equality. Thales is a company that is proud of its diverse workforce. The company believes in being an equal opportunities employer by providing a level playing field to women and today, it has them forming nearly 23% of its workforce worldwide. Thales pays special attention to career development opportunities for women, through training and mentoring programmes as well as active support from Thales’s in-house university.

Be it technology, politics, finance, or healthcare; women have come a long way to prove their mettle. The importance of a growing workforce which is both diverse and inclusive is crucial for any organization to grow. Real leadership is less about skill, and more about a balance of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual strength. It is what forms the building blocks for a workplace where talent thrives, accelerating the development of the organization in particular and the country at large.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Sekhar Sahay

HR Head - India, Thales

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