Women’s leadership programs help women unlock their leadership potential which in turn helps organisations achieve their goals. Leadership programs develop your existing leadership team as well as upskills the next generation of leaders.
More and more businesses are now acknowledging the importance of women in leadership positions and recognising the numerous benefits of diverse leadership and teams.
We know about the benefits of women in leadership and the challenges female leaders face, yet with this knowledge many organisations struggle to tap into the full potential of their existing and up-and-coming female leaders.
This article will explore the different benefits of women’s leadership programs and our advice on how to get started.
What is leadership development?
David Day Professor of Psychology defines leadership development as “expanding the collective capacity of organizational members to engage effectively in leadership roles and processes”.
At Inkling, we view leadership development as a process that involves arming leaders with the key competencies required to motivate, inspire and get the best out of their people. These competencies include emotional intelligence, resilience, empathy, influence and authenticity. These specific leadership competencies unlock human potential, protect psychological well-being and safeguard teams against disruption and stress.
Is your team equipped with the skills tomorrow’s leaders need to inspire, influence, innovate and create impactful change?
What are the benefits of women’s leadership development programs?
When it comes to leadership positions, diversity in perspective and experience is often the key to coming up with innovative solutions and making better decisions.
McKinsey’s landmark gender diversity series identified a strong correlation between companies having a higher proportion of female leaders and innovation. And a BCG study showed that gender-diverse teams demonstrate a 38% increase in innovation revenue.
Catalyst research also found that companies with a higher proportion of women on their boards are more likely to be innovation leaders in their industries, and have better financial performance.
So developing and championing female leadership presents a significant business opportunity for organisations to excel in creativity and innovation.
Organisations with higher levels of gender diversity, including women in leadership positions, have better productivity and financial performance.
McKinsey has reported that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
Additionally, research from The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) reveals that an organisation with 30% female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net margin – where companies with gender-diverse management teams were 15% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability measures.
Companies need to get more women into leadership and foster emerging female leaders through development programs and training to tap into significant benefits and boost their bottom line.
Attract and retain the best talent
Investing in women’s leadership training can help you attract and retain top talent. Women are seeking equal opportunities for growth and advancement, and investing in their leadership development and empowering emerging female leaders shows that you’re committed to providing those opportunities and pathways for career advancement.
Glassdoor research found that 76% of job seekers consider a diverse workforce as an important factor when evaluating a company and job offer. Further research found that 61% of women look at the gender diversity of the employer’s leadership team when deciding where to work.
The most talented women tend to gravitate towards places that celebrate diversity and champion inclusive culture, and this may be what is driving diverse organisations to continue to outperform their peers.
According to the Global Workforce of the Future report, 77% of workers say they have a skills gap while only 36% of non-managers say their company invests in and assesses their skills. Failing to prioritise career conversations and professional development, employers are at risk of low employee job satisfaction and high turnover rates.
To retain female employees and high-potential leaders, companies need to double down on career progression with an eye toward internal upward mobility and leadership capabilities development.
Developing women leaders can result in a more diverse representation of individuals at all levels of an organisation, leading to a more inclusive and connected work environment. Women bring a host of experiences and skills that allow them to thrive in leadership roles and champion DEI initiatives at companies.
McKinsey’s recent report found that female leaders are more likely than their senior male counterparts to:
- be seen as empathetic and supportive managers
- take public stands on gender and racial equity at work
- mentor and sponsor other women
- be committed to advocating for employee-friendly policies and programs to attract and retain other women long-term.
For brave impactful leadership that fosters fairer more inclusive workplaces, one of the best things organisations can do is to prioritise and invest in women’s leadership development programs.
Further reading: How to have open and courageous conversations about workplace gender equality and equity
How to incorporate a women’s leadership program into your organisation
At Inkling, our women’s leadership development experiences draw on performance psychology and behavioural science. Designed to equip women leaders with the skills and courage to challenge the status quo, uncover strengths, lift self-awareness, and identify and explore their authentic leadership style.
Our women’s leadership programs develop leaders who can effectively manage their personal and career challenges, resulting in increased performance, productivity, and enjoyment. We can put together customised programs and scalable digital solutions for frontline staff, emerging leaders, high-potential leaders and executive teams.
Where to next?
With increased innovation, profitability and inclusivity, and employee talent and retention on the line – there’s a strong business case for organisations to invest in women’s leadership development to achieve business goals and drive greater success across all facets of the company.
Building on our experience as ‘Inkling Women’ in our earlier years, we take an evidence-based approach to tackle this challenge from all angles. By partnering with your organisation, we cultivate inclusive leadership and the structures needed to see women flourish.
Find out more about our women’s leadership programs or get in touch to see how we can help unlock the potential of your women leaders and empower you and your team with the confidence and clarity to thrive.