Last month saw author Ali Smith selected as the winner of the Baileys Women?s Prize for Fiction – designed to shine a spotlight on fantastic writing by women. Her book, titled How To Be Both highlights how the world sees gender and how it has changed.
Now in its twentieth year, the accolade, which was established to celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women throughout the world, has grown from strength to strength and continues to championing clever, funny and brilliant creative ? drawing rightful attention to their genius.
Research confirms that a more gender-balanced leadership team is better for business. A comprehensive study of 7,280 business leaders by Zenger Folkman, Inc., titled ?A Study in Leadership: Women do it Better than Men? showed researchers rating leaders on 16 core competencies associated with top executives, including traits such as: honesty, integrity, drive for results, problem solving and initiative. On 12 of the 16 competencies, respondents who included managers, peers and reports rated females more positively than men.
According to McKinsey, firms with more women enjoy 56% higher margins, whilst a report by Sodexo highlighted companies where one-third of the board members are women showed profit margins 42% better and shareholder returns an average 53% higher than rival firms, with fewer women on their boards.
A further study by the Ponemon Institute also found that female employees work harder and longer than men do. Among the subjects that took part in trials across the U.S., females consistently worked for a longer period of time during a ten-minute experiment than their male colleagues. Researchers also discovered that men are even less productive when women are around.
Inspite of a persistent gender gap when it comes to reward and recognition, by gathering the above data, it confirms that females in the working world advocate progressively strong skills in continually driving high margins and high productivity in the workplace. In turn we continue to question who we are as professional women, what are we going to do about this subject matter in the future and actively strive to move it forward and be pro-active as a society.