Victor Hugo said “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” We are living in historic times. And the time for women to be in more executive, business and leadership roles is here now.
Female founders are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs, yet they receive less than three percent of venture capital funding. According to research by Korn Ferry, women hold just a quarter of the top jobs across the most prominent C-Suite titles. And that number is even smaller when it comes to the chief executive position. Women hold only 5% of CEO posts; the role that shows the lowest gender diversity in the entire C-suite.
Fortunately, tech and HR are slightly ahead of the curve. 1 in 3 leaders working in tech are women. And the chief human resources officer position is the only C-suite role where there is gender equality – 55 percent of CHROs across industries are women.
There is concrete evidence that in life and especially in business, for creating stronger communities and enterprise value, women are the greater sex.
Companies that fail to recognize this, are actually paying the price. At Twitter, only 13 percent of employees in tech roles are women – a point of embarrassment for the company as it has struggled to secure strategic options.
Research shows that female leadership creates a significantly higher ROI. Companies with a female founder saw 63 percent higher ROI than investments with all-male founding teams. Businesses with strong women leadership generated a return on equity of 10.1 percent per year compared to 7.4 percent for those without, according to a 2015 study by MSCI of more than 4,000 companies around the world.
Of the c-suite and board member positions my team of recruiters is asked to fill, close to half our clients are asking for diversity and inclusiveness in the search process. The ‘Mad Men’ era of doing business is a vestige of the industrial economy – when the domestic space was a woman’s queendom and a man’s ego battled in business. Entrepreneurship today is about building communities, tribes and the enterprise value that comes from network effects. The growing evidence is that diversity of thought creates the most value.