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How to overcome obstacles that keep women from the top

 


FT Advisor | February 14, 2020


The FT Adviser article, "How to overcome obstacles that keep women from the top," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Amy Hayes and featured our paper, "Diversity and Inclusion: What Separates the Best from the Rest." The article is excerpted below.

Do women in senior or top positions make a difference to a company?

According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review last June, women in leadership positions are perceived to be just as competent as their male counterparts, if not more so.

Female leaders were rated as excelling in taking initiative, acting with resilience, practising self-development, driving for results and displaying high integrity and honesty.

In fact, they were thought to be more effective in 84 per cent of the competencies that HBR most frequently measures, such as ‘drives for results’ and ‘innovates’.

Men were rated as being better on two capabilities: ‘develops strategic perspective’ and ‘technical or professional expertise’.


Diversity in leadership goes beyond gender. Headhunter Russell Reynolds ran a study last year looking at the differences in business outcomes for companies that had made advances in diversity and inclusion compared with those that had not.

The results found that at D&I companies – those where D&I is treated as a business and organisational issue and engages all employees – there was 35 per cent greater employee loyalty, 30 per cent greater innovation, 30 per cent greater performance,

Amy Hayes, who leads Russell Reynolds’ leadership advisory business in the Americas, says: “Inclusive leaders tend to have improved collaboration. They have higher retention rates and people who report to inclusive leaders say they feel more free to experiment, innovate and be successful, operating as their authentic self.

“Those teams tend to be more likely to make high-quality decisions and perform at higher levels than others. They tend to be more future-focused and able to navigate disruption and transformation, which is becoming an increasingly important aspect.”

To read the full article, click here.


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How to overcome obstacles that keep women from the top