Monday, April 2, 2012

Women Matter. Well, duh!

            McKinsey & Company conducted a study in Europe a few years back entitled, “Women Matter:  Gender Diversity, A Corporate Performance Driver.”  Two things jumped out when we read this study.  First, companies with the highest representation of women at board and top management levels also were the companies that performed best—financially.

Second, the study goes beyond the important but limited solutions usually offered up for getting more women into senior positions, namely better work-life balance.  It also argues for the value of policies and programs that help women master what the authors call the “dominant (read: male) code” of business and nurture their ambition.

            Whatever you think about the why women are under-represented in the top echelons of business, having them there is clearly important to the success of the enterprise.  And that doesn’t surprise us at all, since our mantra is “Strategy is Human.”  Beyond numbers, data, key indicators, and so on, what really drives a business is the people behind it—their dreams, hopes, perspectives, emotions, priorities, and so on.  It stands to reason that the most successful organizations would be the ones that benefit from the broadest and deepest range of human perspectives, and that is only possible when your management ranks draw from the broadest and deepest pool of people. 

            Woman matter—yes.  Because human beings—of all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicities, persuasions and yes, gender—matter. 

Sue Matson