All over the world today, women continue to be paid less than men, an inequity that is difficult to explain. Working women have always split their time between professional and family duties. Often a working woman does not benefit from support such as kindergarten, maternity leave and breastfeeding leave, achievements that have been reached only a few years ago and which are reserved for developed western countries.
The recent pandemic has further exacerbated the problem as remote work has coincided with school closures and women have found themselves having to provide for their children’s needs.
On this subject, I recommend reading a good article by Helena Maria Viramontes, professor at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, published by the National Geographic in the October 2021 edition. The writer describes her personal experience: born into a large family of Hispanic origin, her first success was within the family context, where her mother considered her intellectual and unpaid work with disregard. It was only after the first pay cheque, the result of the publication of one of her stories, that her mother realized the value of her choice.
Today, the reconciliation of business development, economic development and social development remains very complex.
And our society has to overcome this challenge as soon as possible in order to achieve enormous benefits, especially through gender balance and the development of female leadership.
According to a research conducted by McKinsey, the reduction of the “gender gap” could reach a peak of 28 trillion dollars of global GDP by 2025.
How to define the women’s leadership?
We can say that leadership is the ability of a person within an organization to embody and transmit values that motivate the team to achieve given goals.
Women have always had less access to leadership roles. The female vote only came a hundred years ago, however, women’s emancipation has progressed inexorably in a gradual way, so that nowadays it is impossible to think of a lack of women in both the public and private spheres.
In company leadership roles, historically occupied by men, there are now a number of women who demonstrate that they fully have the skills to fill them.
Qualities of women’s leadership
- a) high level of sociability
- b) strong orientation towards cooperation
- c) aptitude for multi-tasking
- d) innovative mentality and flexibility
- e) empathy
- f) inclusiveness
The advantages of women’s management, according to a recent ranking by “Great Place to Work“, the most virtuous Italian companies that have been promoting women’s work for years obtain enormous benefits. In particular, the 44% of companies that have women in their top management ranks in the top places for having a serene working environment, a better work-life balance, benefits and recognition.
Of the top 20 companies in the ranking, 5 (or 25% of the total) have a female CEO or General Manager.
The way ahead is certainly still uphill, but these figures are encouraging for the future.
Those in charge of human resources and corporate organization will certainly have to continue working in this direction: developing and maintaining female leadership capable of making a difference in the pursuit of the business objectives.
“The future of the planet depends on giving all women access to education and leadership. It is women who have the most difficult, but most constructive, task of inventing and managing peace”.
Rita Levi Montalcini
HR Business Advisor