Women in men’s world - A changing outlook
Companies with higher representation from women in its leadership positions tend to perform better on wide range of performance metrics.
'Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world'- Bette Midler
While the dialogue around women empowerment, gender equality and diversity has been doing the rounds of the corporate corridors for some time, there is still a huge gap that exists when one deep dives into some of the professions that have traditionally been dominated by men such as engineering, finance, manufacturing and real estate to name a few.
Research done on the gender diversity clearly indicates that, more often than not companies with higher representation from women in its leadership positions tend to perform better on wide range of performance metrics.
However, the real estate industry in India is a prime example of largely a male dominated area considering that many businesses are family run and usually the reigns are expected to be passed on to the sons of the family. Other key factors like nature of work, long hours on site, dealing with contractors and workers became traditionally male dominated which in turn led investment side to follow a similar trend.
With significant growth expected in the industry through increased investment from international players in the market, limiting the sector to only one segment of the population confines available resources and talent base that is crucial to take the sector forward. Hence the next wave in the talent pool prompts the inclusion of more women in the sector.
Modern women today are pushing the envelope when it comes to breaking stereotypes by making inroads into male dominated industries and carving a niche for themselves. While the IT and services industry are steadily seeing an increase in the number of women working due to an inclusive workplace culture and equal opportunities, progressive government policies like maternity leave of 26 weeks and resuming work are also creating a conducive environment for women to meet their family obligations while at the same time being participative in the economic growth of their families and the country.
Women, in various segments of the sector, have proven to be more effective than men due to various inherent qualities. The primary one being that women are better listeners than men which is critical when comes to managing employees and other stakeholders. Women are also known to fare better at consensus building as they follow a more participative approach as opposed to one way communication for solving business problems. One can witness a growing tribe of women especially in customer interaction roles like sales, marketing and CRM. Altogether, women workforce bring in a unique combination of compassion, assertiveness, focus and determination. Women are able to balance out and provide necessary synergies required to take the business forward across industries and are setting a proud example for other likeminded women to follow.
For an organisation to be truly progressive and successful, having a healthy mix of gender and ethnicity is not a choice but necessity. More emphasis should be laid on training the existing workforce towards gender sensitivities and building a cohesive culture at workplace. Senior leadership have to take some bold steps to ensure presence of diverse workforce and the sooner it is instituted as a corporate practice, the better geared an organization can be for the future.