By Priti Shah
The need for more women leaders in the workforce is undeniable. According to an International Labor Organization report, less than five percent of public companies listed in global stock exchanges are led by women and only three countries out of the 200 surveyed have a majority of companies managed by women. But despite the absence of women in leadership positions, research shows that organizations that have more women represented in management perform better.
In fact, market data demonstrates that businesses with diverse leadership teams generally perform better financially on a range of performance measures, including higher return on sales, higher operating results and greater stock appreciation. The business case is clear – organizations should capitalize on the in-house talent of women to meet and exceed their business goals.
So, why are more women not moving up in the ranks?
Though there are an array of barriers facing women, a recent Skillsoft survey on women in leadership showed that two out of three people think that work-life balance is the biggest challenge for women in the workforce.*
It is imperative that today’s successful organizations provide a solution that support women in developing skills in which they fundamentally excel so that they can be promoted to more senior levels within an organization. At the same time, the ideal solution must be embedded into the everyday workflow, and be sensitive to time demands to address the work-life balance barriers that women collectively face.
Skillsoft’s new Women in Action™ leadership program consists of “learning templates” which include recommended videos, book summaries and full text books targeted at emerging-, mid- and senior-level leaders. The curated content covers competencies that women require to excel, such as negotiating, collaborating for impact, building work-life balance, building your personal brand, strategic thinking and sponsoring and mentoring. Monthly assignments take about one hour to complete and encourage immediate application of learned skills through team discussions, activities and individual reflection.
Leadership programs specifically designed for women will encourage more women to drive their own development and advance their careers. In turn, these programs will positively impact their organizations overall business performance.
*Full survey results coming soon. Stay tuned to Skillsoft.com for the report.
Priti Shah is Vice President, Leadership Product Strategy and Corporate Development. She can be followed on Twitter at @priticshah.