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Diversity at the top: Advancing female executives

Fewer CEOs are women than named David. When a single name outnumbers an entire gender, it reveals a staggering problem: women are clearly underrepresented in leadership positions. Have you ever considered what impact gender diversity has on your business?

Struggles with Diversity

Companies struggle with finding senior women for their leadership positions. They use executive recruitment agencies that are male dominated, and there is less focus on the benefits a diverse leadership team can bring. Gender diverse leadership teams usually use a more objective and data-driven decision-making approach when it comes to hiring and promotion practices. This usually leads to less biased decisions compared to male dominated leadership teams. 

Companies spend a lot of time, money, and good intentions on efforts to build more robust diversity and inclusion programmes. On the other hand, there is a lot of bias within the organisation that prevents the company hiring senior women leaders. 

Despite major attention to the problems, companies are still applying unproven solutions, leading to concerning outcomes. 

These programmes are ineffective, and they drive company leaders to pat themselves on the back for checking the box on diversity, without critical thinking about the systems and structures that caused the problem in the first place. These common corporate approaches to tackling the diversity problem lack the deep thought required to address inequitable systems and structures. 

Diversity is more than just a quota

It’s obvious that diversity is no longer just a matter of fulfilling quotas and creating corporate social responsibility campaigns. It offers so much more:

1. Company culture 

Having a diverse leadership team is a sign of a healthy and inclusive company culture. It’s not only positively recognised publicly but there is also a statistically significance with financial outperformance compared to non-diverse leadership teams; and this trend is consistent throughout the past years.

2. Value creation 

Companies with gender diverse executive teams outperform on profitability by 21% and are 27% more likely to have superior value creation.

3. Lower turnover 

Women build knowledge through mentoring, and research shows that companies with a formal mentoring culture have 20% lower turnover and 46% higher quality-leaders.

4. Profitability

We still have less than 20% of female executive committee and corporate boards members, although it is proven that boards with at least three women directors are about 50% more profitable.

We could literally go on and on with all those facts but that wouldn’t lead anywhere if we do not start to take action and advancing female executives. 

Dive deeper into the topic by watching this video of Sabine Hutchison and Susan Braakman, discussing the advancement of female executives . 

Adding Balance

As the rational from above shows, bringing women to senior positions is crucial, and we at Seuss take diversity in leadership seriously. Here are our keys to bringing diversity to leadership:

1. Diversity should be a critical part of innovation

Good leaders strive to achieve diversity in their organisation, and research shows that diverse groups outperform homogeneous ones. In his study, Davis noted that bigger companies based in California with some women at the top performed much better than those with only men at the top, with the median return almost 74% higher than the groups surveyed overall. 

2. Never be “too busy” for diversity initiatives

A SHRM report states that 41% of managers are “too busy” to implement diversity initiatives. It may be true that managers have too much on their plates to handle on a given day, but the statistics reveal just how small of a priority diversity hiring is. Commitment, internal recruitment, development programmes and mentorship can help funnel more women to leadership programmes, ensuring that diversity is maintained.

3. Blind application

On average, blind applications lead to five times more women applying for positions. Eliminating the pre-conceived biases and stereotypes by creating an even playing field gives all candidates an opportunity to a fair chance.

4. Clear Accountability

CEOs and business leaders must define a clear vision and strategy of their diversity targets with real accountability for delivery. This needs to be communicated and live up to throughout the whole organisation. This is crucial for building teams who are motivated and wanting to lead a change in their work.

the seuss approach

At Seuss, we understand the complexity of hiring the right candidate for the position. Our female leaders know where to find, and how to recruit the next female executives for your company. 

Advancing female executives is not about reaching a quota for PR purposes; the numbers don’t lie. We take a holistic approach to recruitment:  It’s not just about the CV. It’s important to understand the individual journeys to find the best-fit job match.

Additionally, we attend networking events designed for women to speak and meet the next leaders. Our belief in embracing and encouraging diversity is the way of the future.  

Contact us to find out how we can change the way you recruit and make a positive change to your leadership.

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