Encouraging More Women Into Tech Leadership Roles

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Women are flexing their entrepreneur muscles like never before. In China, half of all internet start-ups are run by women. From innovation and start-ups to business development and strategy, women have always left their mark across industries despite their ‘longer curve’ to reach the top. Organizations having a high proportion of women in leadership positions consistently outperformed both the competition and industry expectation. Women CEOs are at the forefront of redefining the business landscape.

World over, businesses are beginning to understand the correlation of having women in leadership roles and improved financial outcomes. In fact, even over a decade ago, a study found that having women in leadership roles enabled organizations to have a 35% increase in the return on equity and a 34% increase in total return to shareholders.

Studies on women-led businesses around the world show that they have been performing better than male-led businesses. This prompted a new line of thinking across global enterprises, leading to entities such as Credit Suisse Research Institute declare that the higher the percentage of women in top management, the greater the excess returns for shareholders. There is a clear link the between diversity and business performance, and women are at the forefront in making it happen.

Of course, there is a lot of theorizing around why women-led businesses are successful, but then one also has to account for the fact that women had to slog it out to reach the top in the first place. Women perceive risk and opportunity in a different way than menfolk do, and they act differently too. Their approaches to risk and strategy are game changing. In fact, bringing together the diverse perspectives of both men and women leaders would facilitate effective risk strategies for the sustainable growth of dynamic businesses.

According to a recent Grant Thornton’s research (March 2017), the proportion of women in senior leadership roles has hit 25 percent—a mere 1 percent growth since 2016, and 6 percent over a period of 13 years. This shows that the progress towards embracing women as business leaders is marching at a painfully slow rate.

The trend is apace in APAC countries than in other geographies. In India, the tech sector is the second biggest employer of women than the pharma sector. A report by NASSCOM revealed that 60 percent of firms will have more than 20 percent women at senior level, and nearly 51 percent of firms will have more than 20 percent of women at C-suite level. Still, one has to work harder to bring about the change in how companies can increase female participation in senior business leadership.

It is important for organizations to introspect and bring about the diversity in leadership to usher in faster and better growth, innovation and performance. Improving the corporate culture to accommodate and nurture female leadership can be done in little steps. It may begin with speaking up for diversity throughout the organization, not just at the top; encouraging diverse leadership styles and role models; and helping women help themselves to advance on the career front.