On the 8th of March Zimbabwe joins the rest of the World in celebrating International Women’s Day. The theme for 2022 is ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’. The theme fits perfectly and speaks not only of gender equality, which is topical but also sustainability. I am a huge proponent of sustainability and I am already tempted to dwell on that here. However, I want to discuss the importance of women in business leadership. In commemorating International Women’s Day in 2022, I felt it would be befitting to discuss this pertinent subject.

Correlation Between Women’s Inclusion And Increased Business Performance

There was a study done in the United Kingdom that showed that including women drive up business performance. It was specifically cited that for every 10 per cent increase in women’s inclusion, revenue grew by an average of 3.5 percent. This clearly shows that including women bring in a positive difference. This all speaks to certain attributes that women uniquely possess or possess in much higher proportions than men.

A Transformational Leadership DNA

It has been discovered, through research, that women and men differ greatly in their leadership styles or inclinations. Even in general, how women and men think is typically different. It was found that women tend to be more likely to be transformational leaders. What is transformational leadership you might wonder? It is a style of leadership in which the leader identifies the needed change, creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executes the change with the commitment of the members of the group. Given the times we live in, characterized by rapid change and advancements, transformational leadership is needed. Women bring in that transformational touch and can optimize business operations accordingly.

Women Tend To Rank Higher Than Men On Certain Attributes

There are certain attributes central to leadership effectiveness that women usually have in greater measure than men. For example, women tend to have higher integrity than men. Integrity means steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. This means women tend to be more truthful than men in corporate circles. This has even been shown in certain studies to contribute to less likelihood of corrupt activities.

Women are at times castigated for being too emotional which can of course impede effective leadership. However, that sensitive nature of theirs can greatly exhibit itself as empathy and compassion. There is a movie called The Exam – I have recommended it before. The lady who ends up landing the job role was picked in part, due to her compassionate nature. It is an important attribute for a leader to have and women tend to express it more. Women are also adventurous and explorative which can be essential to business strategy formulation.

A Nurturing And Multi-Tasking Ability

The roles women play from when they are kids often call on them to be nurturers and multi-taskers. Consider the household setup – they can be taking care of the house, cooking, raising siblings or their kids, amongst other chores. They can do all this and still be doing some income generation project(s) or going to a day job. All these dynamics stem from and also enhance their ability to nurture and multi-task. Their nurturing ability makes them more suited for employee development through training and mentorship. They are also more expressive and can cultivate meaningful communication. They can juggle several things at once which enables them to be versatile. By bringing them into top business leadership you get to be a beneficiary of all those attributes.

Those are some of the reasons why the importance of women in business leadership cannot be ignored. I am well aware of issues regarding patriarchy and all. That is a lengthy subject to explore – so many angles to consider. Regardless, one thing is certain, women deserve more and equal opportunities, especially in top positions of business leadership. Business owners must consider this more than ever before. The women also must be forthcoming and equal to the task. It should not just be about seeking to be included just purely based on gender. There should be an intersection of gender, skillsets, capacity, and experience, where applicable.  Happy International Women’s Day 2022!