Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Most small businesses don't have the diversity programs and socially conscious mandates of large corporations that encourage hiring and promoting of women and other minority groups. 

But taking time to make deliberate decisions about recruiting, promoting and empowering women can be beneficial for your business and your local community.

Adding more women to your business and prioritizing the placement of women in leadership roles can translate into a number of important benefits, from boosting your bottom line to improving your brand's reputation. Here are four perks to consider as you set out to empower women in business.

1. Improved business results

Numerous research studies suggest a link between greater female participation in a business and various company performance measures, such as better financial performance, higher operating results and greater stock price appreciation.

“Companies with [the strongest] record of promoting women to the executive suite … outperformed industry medians, with overall profits 34 percent higher when calculated for revenue, 18 percent higher in terms of assets and 69 percent higher in regard to equity," wrote Roy Adler, Ph.D., of Pepperdine University, in a report of his 19-year research study, Women in the Executive Suite Correlate to High Profits.

2. You'll gain a greater understanding of your customers

Women are responsible for between 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing decisions, according to Forbes. To sell more or develop new products and services that will resonate with customers, businesses need employees and leaders who have key insights into the needs of their customers. Women in leadership positions are more likely to have insight and experience connecting with more than half of your customers.

3. You'll create and cultivate a more respected brand

When a business has employees and leaders who reflect its customers and community, it has more points of connection with those customers and community and can build a stronger reputation. According to a report from Mercer, a talent, health, retirement and investment consulting firm, "achieving a more gender-balanced workplace creates efficiency savings, enhances employee engagement, boosts productivity, meets the diverse needs of customers and suppliers and improves brand reputation." 

4. The local community will flourish

Many small business owners are committed to the success of their local communities and having more women in the workforce and in leadership positions has a direct impact on the strength of a community. That's because women are more likely to use their income and influence to contribute to health, education and other community-building efforts. 

“Given the size of the untapped female workforce and the pivotal role that women play in society as providers, caregivers, decision makers and consumers, the extent of their participation in the workforce has major implications for the economic and social development of communities and nations," continues the Mercer report. In fact, eliminating the gap between male and female employment rates could increase the United States' gross domestic product by 5 percent, according to research from the International Monetary Fund.

Regardless of the size of your business or the industry in which you work, there are talented women who could make a valuable contribution and help you access these benefits. Making an effort to empower women can help boost your business and pave the way for new growth.

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