OK folks, let’s start off with something we could all benefit from doing a little more of – something I call ‘Positive Propositioning’… Take the name of this blog: Gender ‘Equality’. Not ‘Inequality’.
That’s simply because I’m of the mindset that if you focus on the positive aspect of change, you get more of it.
Also, I want to make it clear that this isn’t a feminist rant, far from it – in fact, it’s a bird’s eye observation on what is and what could, and arguably should be.
OK, now I’ve got that off my chest, let me share a couple of stats with you…
- In global companies, 15% of women hold board positions
- 4% chair boards
- And 20% of boards have 3 or more women on them
And when you consider more female board directors give:
- 16% higher Return on Sales
- 26% higher Return on Invested Capital
- Fewer governance-related controversies
…It’s certainly good for us to explore ways in which we can help businesses encourage more women into higher positions. And one of the ways I see this happening is by…
Encouraging MORE women to become Social Entrepreneurs in the first place.
Oh Heidi, but you would say that, you’re ALL ABOUT Social Enterprise. Yes, you’re right, but hear me out.
(Ready for some more stats? Here they come!)
- 41% of UK’s social enterprises are led by women
- Globally 38% are led by women
- Women are 3x more likely to start social enterprises than men
- Twice as many women run social enterprises than traditional businesses
- Women equate to 46% of ‘traditional’ business workforce but 66% of social enterprise workforce
In comparison to the stats on traditional businesses, isn’t that absolutely, mind-bogglingly staggering?
And the thing is, having worked many, many years in the Social Enterprise sector, I’ve got to say, there’s a non-proven, but arguably rational, biological reason why there’s such a disparity between the two industries, and that is… Women tend to lead with their hearts, and men with their heads.
Women, driven by factors such as community, impact, connections and innovation are often social entrepreneurs without even realising it… If I had a £1 for every time a lady has told me their business idea and I’ve replied, “you’ve got a social enterprise there!” I mean…well, you know the rest.
But don’t get me wrong, if you’re a female reading this and you’re even slightly offended by that, please, let me assure you, this is, in fact, one of the reasons why it’s IMPERATIVE we have more female leaders in our world; not to dominate men, but to accompany, complement and work alongside them….As equals.
Instead of looking at this as a stereotype, let’s look at this as a celebration of traits and talents. If we had more Social Entrepreneurs in the world, heck, if EVERY business had a social element, think how much good would be given back to people and our world.
Social Enterprise isn’t a soft option, it’s actually, the only option.
So, in the push for equality within all areas of business, how about this as a lasting thought… If we’ve already recognised there’s a disparity and a need to change it, we should look at tackling it from the root, which naturally stems from education.
Let’s do what we can to educate our daughters (and sons!) about the importance of Social Entrepreneurship, self-actualisation and a love for doing good, but not only that, let’s also educated them on the importance of self-belief and inspire them to have just as much confidence as men to go out there and smash it.
If we help them grow up believing they have the power to make impact irrespective of their gender, just think what societal, environmental and health advancements can be achieved.
As you can tell, I am extremely passionate about this for reasons some of you will know and some of you won’t; that’s not the point here, what is the point is that we acknowledge with grace and respond with action.
If you have any thoughts on the above, I really hope you share them, after all, that’s what this is all about…
Originally posted on Linked In on 14th June 2018