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20 September 2021

Female leadership in companies, a challenge still pending

The presence of women in managing positions in companies listed on the IBEX 35 has tripled in recent years, from 16% to 33%. There is no doubt that things are changing, but in this area, we are still far from reaching the desirable equality quotas.

Before addressing why is it necessary to increase the presence of women in positions of responsibility and what benefits it entails, we must start from the premise that, in the first instance, companies should have the obligation to promote excellence and the talent of the most important people beyond gender. This approach should now nullify any biases when it comes to boosting promotion or opting for women when recruiting staff for managerial positions.

When it comes to defining what are the characteristics that women leaders have in companies and what benefits they bring, there is also the danger of falling into a gender bias. For example, when believing that women tend to lead more from intuition and men from reason. Or when it is claimed that women are more sensitive to issues related to the environment, sustainability and social issues.

There are, however, some intrinsic values ​​linked to feminine nature that are worth highlighting. Thus, this leadership is characterized by its effectiveness in creating work teams and its ability to make decisions in times of crisis. In addition, in general, women offer a more personal treatment, and present more sociable characteristics and with greater emphasis on the need for cooperation and group work.

Female leadership responds to a more persuasive style, thanks to greater interpersonal communication and the search for consensus in a more collaborative, open and inclusive way. Seeking the greatest efficiency through cooperation, teamwork and trying to take into account different points of view.

The key for experts is to integrate female and male leadership, combining the different characteristics associated with each gender. But it is also necessary to take concrete actions within the company to promote female leadership, such as communicating why gender diversity is important and how it benefits the company, customers and society in general. All this with the aim of implementing an open look that accepts without ambiguity the need for companies to be inclusive and egalitarian.

There is also consensus when it comes to pointing out the existence of referents as one of the most powerful resources to promote gender equality. The more references there are, the easier it will be for other women to reach the same positions of responsibility.

Female leadership in companies, a challenge still pending
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