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What Do Women Bring to the Table?

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

What Do Women Bring to the Table?

Linda Tarr-Whelan is a premier expert on women’s leadership in this country and internationally. She is a distinguished senior fellow of the national think tank Demos and served as ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in the Clinton administration and as deputy assistant for women’s concerns to President Jimmy Carter in the Carter White House.

Balanced leadership that meets the 30% Solution - enough women at the table to be heard and heeded brings benefits for everyone. The positive difference works for men and women. Other countries have moved aggressively to tap all their talent, not just half. Here’s what both research and experience show are the reasons why. Women lead the way to:

1. A Better Bottom-line - Companies have a higher profits and weather financial storms better with more risk awareness and less hyper-competitiveness. The self-sustaining “old boys network“ at the top reinforces old ways of business and lacks the flexibility needed for a complex and fast-changing world.

2. Better Policies -- Often neglected issues like education, the well-being of children, ending violence against women and fostering entrepreneurship come to the fore. Regardless of party, women elected officials work across party lines for outcomes, not just “gotcha” politics. The door is wedged open with more opportunity for more women.

3. An Integrated Life - Better family and work policies add to productivity and a higher quality of life, especially family life. With virtually every parent in the workforce, the forced decisions about management of time between family and work can be mitigated by new policies and ways of doing business.

4. A Revitalized Social Contract - the engagement of women in the community is reflected in increased commitment to both personal and corporate social responsibility and longer-term and wider horizons for determining policies and programs.

5. 21st Century Management - Partnerships, teamwork, consensus building and collaborative decision-making are hallmarks of successful businesses - and of women’s leadership and management styles. Mission-driven outcomes are the result. Today’s workforce is increasingly motivated to participate and work for outcomes beyond a paycheck.

Do you agree? Disagree? Have an opinion? Chime in below.