Strong women leaders: why your firm needs them

In today’s business world, diversity and inclusivity are more important than ever. Having a team that represents a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can lead to better decision-making, increased creativity, and higher levels of innovation. One crucial aspect of diversity that firms often struggle to address is gender diversity at senior manager and partner level, specifically the need for strong women leaders within a firm, who can bring balance and perspective to debates that otherwise can become ego driven.

According to a 2019 report by McKinsey, companies with more gender-diverse executive teams financially outperform those with less diverse teams by 21%. This is just one of the many reasons why it is crucial for businesses to prioritise the inclusion and advancement of women in leadership roles.

So, why are strong women leaders so beneficial?

1. Improved recruitment and retention

With almost 60% of talent being recognised as female many will be put off unless they can see women represented throughout the firm and if the leadership team is heavily male-dominant, it tells them all they need to know about #culture in that practice.

2. Improved decision-making

Having a team with diverse backgrounds and experiences leads to better decision-making. This is because people with different perspectives are more likely to bring new ideas to the table and challenge the status quo. This leads to more thorough consideration of all options and ultimately, more informed, and strategic decision-making.

3. Increased creativity

Diversity in a team can lead to increased creativity and innovation. When people with different backgrounds and experiences come together, they are more likely to generate unique and creative solutions to problems. This is especially true when it comes to women, as research has shown that women tend to approach problem-solving in a different way to men.

4. Enhanced reputation

Companies with strong women leaders tend to have a better reputation and are often seen as more progressive and forward-thinking. This can be especially appealing to younger talent and consumers who prioritise diversity and inclusivity.

5. Better team dynamics

Having strong women leaders can also improve team dynamics and create a more positive and inclusive company culture. Women are often known for their strong communication skills and ability to create a sense of community within a team. This can lead to a more cohesive and productive team overall.

Diversity and inclusivity are crucial for businesses to thrive in today’s competitive landscape, but the challenge is often how to attract the best staff and once on board how to encourage them to stay. By prioritising the advancement of women in leadership roles, firms can not only improve their bottom line but also create a more positive and innovative work environment.

What can you do?

How can your business support the development and advancement of strong women leaders?

1. Drive initiatives

Identify those having an interest in inclusivity and create groups of like-minded

people to drive initiatives. Try looking at Tidal Equality and put them through the #equity sequence.

2. Offer development programmes

Providing opportunities to develop leadership skills that will help to create a pipeline of strong female leaders within the company.

3. Think about your part-time staff

Ensure equal pay and opportunities – would you consider a 3-day/week partner or is that a crazy idea? Certainly, I would rather have a high-performing person for 3 days than someone full-time who is just 60% effective. So, help to create a more level playing field.

4. Provide mentorship and sponsorship

Pairing women with mentors and sponsors within the company can provide valuable support and guidance as they progress in their careers.

Strong women leaders are crucial for the success and innovation of any company. By prioritising diversity and inclusivity, firms can drive recruitment, improve their decision-making, increase creativity, enhance their reputation, and create a more positive team dynamic.

If you want to know more about the tools you can use in your firm that will engage your female team members and build a culture of equality then get in touch with Kielan Tayler or take a look at our Advance programme for Aspiring Women Leaders here.