Wide research studies show that once women land leadership positions they excel because they have developed soft skills necessary for effective leadership. Traits like empathy, communication, and listening are qualities that serve women well when in management positions. Research suggests companies with an inclusive culture are six times more likely to be innovative. By staying ahead of changes, they are twice as likely to hit or better financial targets.
Organizations need to ensure there are enough rungs on the ladder to help women climb into management positions. In a period of constant flux, organizations that prioritize a diverse and inclusive culture will be better placed to solve the problems of the future.
Gender diversity in corporate boards it has associated a broad set of business benefits. The advantages include improved financial performance and a shareholder value, increased customer and employee satisfaction, increased confidence of the investor and a better market knowledge and reputation. Currently, women occupy only 15% of non-executive management positions in listed companies in the European Union and only 2% of them are CEOs. In Romania even fewer women, around 12% are breaking the glass ceiling and are promoted as Directors in Boards in the listed comapnies.
A holistic approach is required in order to support women into overcoming barriers and pursuing their careers. Multiple stakeholders may contribute to this:
- Companies should promote knowledge transfer, follow best practices and lead by example and inspire others within this process,
- Different programs supporting women in their careers, such as mentoring and coaching projects,
- Raising awareness among women about their potential and enabling them to develop self-empowerment and assertiveness,
- The government is an essential partner that can provide the best support through policies aimed at facilitating women’s access to top positions.
PWN Romania follows a systemic approach into supporting its individual members in this process of accelerating their careers.
- We provide professional development through educational programs developed by Women on Boards Academy, such as “How to become a successful Board member” and ”The Competency Lab for Board Members”.
- We organize workshops and seminars on major topics for future or current Board members
- We identify eligible candidates to become Board members and build a data base. We further promote the selected ladies through the Board Ready Women Initiative.
- We engage men and, with the support of the Mentoring team, we develop mentoring programs with the support of the Menbassadors in order to teach our candidates leadership competences and skills,
- We advocate and lobby in order to promote gender diversity in Boards,
- We prepare research and studies in partnership with other relevant institutions, in order to draw attention to gender diversity within Boards of Directors.