Women are becoming increasingly influential in the business world each year as more females take on leadership roles and form their own businesses. In the year 2020, it was calculated that the US has 12.3 million women-owned businesses which generate about $1.8 trillion a year. Additionally, 40% of all US businesses are actually owned by women. Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to see how women in business are becoming a driving force in the nation’s economy and why it’s important for companies to continue implementing women leaders. In celebration of International Women’s Day, here are three advantages that hiring more women can have on your small business:
1. A Diverse Team Leads to More Innovation
Diversity is the key to creativity and innovation. When a team is made up of people with many things in common, it can be difficult to come up with unbiased ideas and solutions. Teams that are composed of members of diverse backgrounds, however, are more likely to consider new perspectives and thus, open the door for innovation. Because men and women have different ways of thinking, forming gender-diverse teams can be crucial to coming up with fresh ideas for your business.
2. Women Lead Differently Than Men
Studies show that people of different genders tend to lead differently. These varying leadership styles between men and women can largely be attributed to neurological differences within the brain. It has actually been shown that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to emotional intelligence. In a 2017 study, for example, women typically scored higher on attributes such as empathy, interpersonal relationships, and social responsibility, whereas men scored higher on self-regard, stress tolerance, and optimism. While there are benefits to having leaders who reflect any of these qualities, creating a gender-diverse leadership within your business will help optimize the different strengths held by your team members.
3. Gender Diverse Teams Have Better Collaboration
As we move into the future, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to create cultures centered around collaboration rather than competition. And interestingly enough, research has actually shown that women can play a huge role in creating this culture of collaboration. It’s been shown that women tend to collaborate connectively, meaning they seek connections between their own ideas and the ideas of their team members. This collaboration is becoming vital for small businesses, in that it can help to create both a unified and efficient team. “It is pure mythology that women cannot perform as well as men in science, engineering, and mathematics. In my experience, the opposite is true: Women are often more adept and patient at untangling complex problems, multitasking, seeing the possibilities in new solutions, and winning team support for collaborative action.” (Weili Dai, director, and co-founder of Marvell Technology Group) Continuing to hire women leaders in business moving into the future will help to diversify skills in leadership and lead to more innovation.