Women in business? Women are the business.
While it may remain a ‘man’s world’, it is a simple fact, that women are the force factor of the economy.
Despite the continuing gap in pay (at least a 10% difference according to numerous sources) recent studies show that the purchasing power of Venuses represent nearly two-thirds of all consumer decisions; estimated at USD 15 trillion. That is overwhelming purchasing power that shapes behavioral economics and the economics of growth.
On average while women represent 45% of the workforce yet their representation in the C-suite or boardroom is much less. There are significant national differences. The EU average is 16% yet the Swedish average is 26% compared to the UK at 18% and most of the rest of EU27 below 12% according to an EU and Stockholm School of Economics study.
Writing for a ‘Daily Telegraph’ column, Justin Jenk cited the vital role played by women in corporate governance and the economy. The Harvard community has recognized this power of Venus. Harvard Business School has made it part of its offering through the gender initiative and the Harvard Business Review has written about it. Furthermore in a recent McKinsey study, it estimated that corporate performance was 50% higher for those companies with a higher representation of female senior executives and board members.
In the face of such benefits why the resistance. The main challenge remains one of attitude. A recent study by London School of Economics reveals the legacy effects. The search for equality is correct but remains a long drawn out process. Recent legislative and social practices with regard to parental leave and child rearing.
Unleashing the full potential women in the workplace is something that benefits all of us. Gender equality in the workplace should be championed and nurtured. It is just good business and for the economy – women as well as men.
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Justin Jenk is business professional with a successful career as a manager, advisor, investor and board member. He can be found at justinjenk.com