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Research in cognitive neuroscience and behavioral economics consistently shows that women are held back from advancing in the workforce compared to men.
A study of managers at 20 Fortune 500 companies found that men progressed faster in their careers and received higher salaries than women, even though women had similar qualifications, worked in the same industries, and had consistent work experience.
Another study of 138 half-male, half-female managers found that women had to work harder to overcome barriers such as being excluded from informal networks and receiving fewer mentors than men.
Additionally, a survey of over 1,000 MBA graduates found that women faced discrimination more often than men, and even when taking into account work experience, women earned less than men.
It is known that there is a “glass ceiling” and women face discrimination that makes it more difficult for them to advance compared to men, despite having similar qualifications, skills and experience.
Related: If you want more women in leadership positions, you need to make coordinated changes. Here’s how.
However, according to many scientific studies, the key to the success of your company may lie in hiring women instead of men. Studies have shown that teams led by women tend to outperform those led by men, and companies with a higher proportion of women in leadership positions are more profitable.
One study published in the Harvard Business Review reports that companies with a higher proportion of women in top management positions “are more profitable, more socially responsible, and provide safer, higher-quality customer experiences.” With a deep focus on innovation, the study looked at 163 multinational companies over 13 years to determine how these companies’ long-term strategies changed after women joined their top management teams. They found that companies became more open to change and less open to risk, and shifted the focus from mergers and acquisitions to research and development.
Other scholarship shows similar results. Research conducted in 1996-1997 by the National Organizations Survey found that companies with a greater gender diversity tended to have more customers, higher sales revenues and higher profits. Another study found that companies with 30% or more women on their boards tend to be more profitable. Furthermore, a third study found that gender-balanced teams tend to have better sales and profits compared to male-majority teams.
But why do female-led teams tend to outperform? Research suggests that women can be more effective leaders because they are more likely to create a positive and inclusive work environment. Studies have shown that women are more likely than men to encourage collaboration, share appreciation and provide constructive feedback.
Additionally, women are often more adept at multitasking, which can be a valuable asset in today’s fast-paced business world. Women are also more likely to take a long-term perspective, which can be beneficial to the company’s long-term success.
But it’s not just about the numbers. It is also important that women have an equal opportunity to succeed and are not held back by unconscious biases.
Related: Women are being pushed out of the workforce and it’s time for employers to do something about it. Here’s how.
Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion tend to have a more engaged workforce and a more positive company culture. This can lead to increased productivity and employee satisfaction, as well as a more innovative and flexible workforce.
This discrimination is often the result of implicit biases that refer to unconscious and unwarranted associations and assumptions that we make because of our internal reactions, intuitions, and instincts around people we perceive as belonging or not belonging to our group. These biases can take the form of the halo effect, where we overestimate other aspects of a person based on one quality we like, or the horn effect, where we downgrade all of another person’s characteristics based on one aspect we like. dislike.
To address these biases, it is important to assess their consequences and take steps to counteract them. This may include implementing diversity and inclusion programs, training employees on implicit biases and their effects, and actively seeking out and promoting qualified women for leadership positions. In addition, it is important that both men and women are aware of their own biases and work to counteract them in their interactions with colleagues and in decision-making processes.
Overall, it is clear from the research that discrimination against women in the workplace is a real issue, and addressing hidden prejudices is crucial to promoting gender equality and creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. By taking proactive steps to counter these biases, organizations can not only promote gender equality but also reap the benefits of improved performance and increased profitability.