Women in Business

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There is a direct correlation between corporate finance performance and women in leadership roles. The number of female college graduates and overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing.

Therefore the pipeline of women has greatly increased and companies have to capitalize on this to ensure these companies are going to retain, attract and develop this pool of talent. An equal balance of qualified men and women can only be achievd when top management focus on what women want in their company, work-life balance, talent management and equal compensation. Therefore the performance of top management should be judged partly on their ability to groom and promote female talent. -3Introduction The numbers of female college graduates and overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing.

In order to ensure that companies continue to appeal to the best and the brightest men and women, companies need to promote the fact that there is equal access to opportunity for both genders. Catalyst, the leading nonprofit organization working globally with business to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business, has found that there is a direct correlation between corporate finance performance and women in leadership roles. Studies show a more equal balance of qualified men and women drives innovation, engagement and business success.

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This research paper will focus on the involvement of Human Resource Management to increase the number of women in leadership roles. What Women Want The majority of the women and especially Generation Y (born 1978 – 1994) are concerned about the impact of their life-work balance (e. g. family, child care) decision will have on their careers. BPW (Business and Professional Women’s) Foundation did research on this topic and found out that the most important employer characteristics for women are: 1. Opportunity for employees to self-manage 2.

Emphasis on meeting goals, as opposed to how, when or where people do the work 3. Availability of and focus on career advancement opportunities Furthermore BPW found out that women are disconnected with employers when: -41. Employees judge each other based on the number of hours worked and not results produced 2. Employees at the top have more freedom than employees at the bottom. The overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing and the Generation Y women are the workforce for tomorrow. Because of this, women will ensure the long term business successes.

Therefore corporations have to retain, attract and develop women by fulfilling their needs by a multipronged approach: 1. Organizational level: Examine and adjust the prevailing mind-set of inputs over outputs. An environment that rewards a person’s presence is not conducive for encouraging people to apply tools that might improve their performance. 2. Management level: Managers need to be coached in and held accountable for the ways in which their practices enable or limit the effectiveness of their direct reports. 3.

Individual level: Each individual should be encourages to identify where and when they work best. Quotas & Regulation Currently women occupy is just 12% of the seats on the boards of large European companies. The European Union warns that if listed European businesses have not made significant progress in raising that percentage by next year March, the European Union will consider mandating that they do through measures such as boardroom measures gender-quotas of the kind already in place in France, Spain and Norway.

The proportion of women occupy the seats on the board of the listed France’s companies is expected to hit 20% next year, up from 7% two years ago. The pool of qualified women is finite and therefore the pressure is to prevent that pool from drying up. One of the reasons that -5qualified women are not in that pool, is because there are not visible to companies. Therefore companies and also women need to take actions like: 1. Develop and introduce mentoring programs (pairing senior women with company chairmen as mentors) 2. Build up systematically contacts (networking inside and outside the company) 3.

Women have to inform company bosses of the progress in their developments 4. Chief executives have to promote women to their executive committees Regulatory back-up, like quotas, are required, because some men over 60 think that suitable females don’t exist because they have never had women as their peers, and they think women can’t take the pressure involved in serving on a board. Furthermore, these quotas forces companies to develop strategies and programs to retain, attract and develop high qualified women, who can enter the boardroom.

But there is also a down side of quotas. Companies have to avoid pushing too low qualified women into boardrooms only to meet these quotas. This will harm the qualified women more than the quotas will help. Work – life Balance With women now making up almost half of the labor force in the Unit States and Europe, they are increasingly juggling work with care giving responsibilities at home. The solution for this dilemma is work flexibility and scheduling. There are several solutions and possibilities to increase the work-life balance: 1.

Employees working at home. This can be achieved by teleworking. Telework means that employees work via electronic, telecommunications and Internet means. -62. Compressed work week. A compressed work week is a work week in which a full week’s work is accomplished in fewer than five 8-hour days. Example: four 10hour days. 3. Flextime: Scheduling arrangement in which employees work a set number of hours a day but vary starting and ending times. 4. Job-sharing: Scheduling arrangement in which 2 employees perform the work of one full-time job.

Researches have shown that the approach of work flexibility and schedule not only help a company’s business success, it leads to increased employee productivity and retains and attracts the best employees. Equal Compensation The US labor statics for 2009 shows that women’s median full-time earning is 78. 7% of what men earn. The level of education doesn’t make any differences. The reasons for wage differences are complicated. Part of it has to do with many traditionally male-dominated professions, paying better than female-dominated professions.

Part of it has to do that women choose to spend more time with family care than with their careers. But that is not whole story. A study showed that when all things are equal (other than gender), women faculty members get paid less their mail colleagues. Women earn on average 6. 9% less than men in similar situations, when the long careers of male faculty members, the relative productivity of faculty member and where male and female faculty members tend to work are taken in account. Why the difference? 1. 2. Sexism and discrimination Women don’t negotiate better salaries for themselves 7There’s not a lot women can do about sexist employers, but salary negotiations are under their control. These negotiations can be a stumbling block, because women are not well trained to negotiate assertively on their own behalf. But if they do, they may be penalized, particularly if the other negotiator is male. A study observed that men were more inclined to work with nicer and less demanding women who accepted their compensation offers without comment than they were with women who attempted to negotiate for higher compensation. Both women were equaled competent for the job.

So that’s the double bind for women: if they don’t ask for a higher salary, they likely won’t receive one, but if they do, they may not be hired or promoted. Talent Management Catalyst, a nonprofit women’s research group, mentioned that only 11 chief executives of Fortune 500 companies are women, down from a peak of 15 in 2010. The McKinsey study showed that 37% of lower-level and middle management are female, while just 26% of vice presidents and other senior manager are women at Fortune 500 companies. McKinsey researchers found that female ambition declines at middle age.

About 64% of women ages 45 to 54 old expressed a desire to advance professionally, compared with 78% of the men in the same age range. The comparable figures were 92% and 98% respectively, for women and men aged 23 to 34. The decrease of the desire to advance professionally of middle aged women is caused by their experience of not well fitted Talent Management Systems. Corporations can improve the odds for building diversity in the top management by increasing the number of women who make it from middle management to the vice presidential level.

There are several opportunities, which companies can implement: -81. Companies need to spend more time coaching women and offering more leadership training and rotation through various management roles. 2. Companies should watch the women at the middle management level systematically and putting these women in programs that would help them to develop and get the next (promotion) hurdle. 3. Companies should be actively grooming women, making sure they have mentors and actively promoting their careers. 4.

The performance of top management should be judged partly on their ability to groom and promote female talent. Conclusion & Recommendations Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between corporate financial performance and having a mix of women and men in senior leadership roles. Statistics show that the number of female college graduates and overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing. Therefore the pipeline of women has greatly increased and companies have to capitalize on this to ensure these companies are going to retain, attract and develop this pool of talent.

To capitalize the women talents, companies need to change their (masculine) corporate culture. In the majority of the companies, female employees don’t have same access to opportunities as their male colleagues. To increase the corporate financial performance, companies need to improve their corporate culture and the equal access to opportunities for both female and male employees. -9Every business and company is different and therefore companies need to found out what the needs are from their (future) female employees.

In general, the most important employer characteristics for women are: 1. 2. 3. Opportunity for employees to self manage Emphasis on meeting goals, as opposed to how, when or where people do the work Availability of and focus on career advancement opportunities The work-life balance becomes more important for both female and male employees; due to that the number of women participates in the workforce is increasing. There are several solutions and possibilities which companies can implement to increase the work-life balance: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Employees working at home (teleworking) Compressed work week Flextime Job-sharing Besides attract and retain female employees, development of these qualified women is important, because they will ensure the mix of women and men in senior leadership roles. Therefore it is recommended that companies improve their talent management with: 1. Coaching women, offering leadership training and rotations through various management roles 2. Watch the women at middle management level systematically and putting these women in programs that would help them to develop and get the next promotion hurdle . Actively grooming women, making sure that they have mentors and actively promoting their careers – 10 Without equal compensation, women will leave the company or are not interested to start their career with a company. Therefore is important that companies need to make sure that both women and men are equal compensated for the work they do. The final recommendation is more means of putting pressure on companies. A regulatory back-up, like quotas, forces companies to develop strategies and programs to retain, attract and develop high qualified women, who can enter the boardroom.

Unfortunately there is also a down-side of quotas. Companies have to avoid pushing too low qualified women into boardrooms only to meet these quotas. This will harm the qualified women undeserved. An equal balance of qualified men and women can only be achieved when top management focus on what women want in their company, work-life balance, talent management and equal compensation. Therefore the performance of top management should be judged partly on their ability to groom and promote female talent. – 11 References Mathis, Robert L and Jackson, John H (2011). Human Resource Management.

South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning Jolis, Anne (2011, May 19). What Women Want. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 23, 2011, from http://www. WSJ. com SHRM Online staff (2011, April 26). What Gen Y Women Want: Autonomy and Self-Direction. Society for Human Resource Management. Retrieved May 3, 2011, from http://www. shrm. org Boulton, Leyla (2011, May 10). UK headhunter pledge new focus on gender. Financial Times. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://www. ft. com Manzano-Diaz, Sara (2011, May 20). Helping Women Advance in the Workplace. Council on Women and Girls.

Retrieved May 25, 2011, from http://www. whitehouse. gov/administration/eop/cwg Peggy (2011, April 12). Equal Pay Day: Why don’t women just ask for more? Retrieved May 25, 2011, from http://www. scientopia. org/blogs/everydaybiology/ Lublin, Joann S, (2011, April 4). Coaching Urged for Women. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 14, 2011, from http://www. WSJ. com Prime, Jeanine and Moss-Racusin, Corinne A (2009). Engaging men in gender initiatives: What Change Agents Need To Know. Catalyst Zahidi, Saadia and Ibarra, Herminia (2010). The Corporate Gender Gap Report 2010. World Economic Forum