Women at all levels of the global economy are a tremendous untapped resource. Today, the world urgently needs a more balanced work force with more women in leadership roles. Companies who lead the way are not just inspiring their own employees, they show the rest of us the value and the benefits of an inclusive workforce, and ultimately how that contributes to the health of economies overall.
That’s a mouthful I know, but my passion for women’s leadership is fueled by recognizing how much more effective companies – and therefore economies – can be when women’s participation increases at all levels. And while Corporate America’s numbers have stalled in terms of advancing women, if you look beneath the surface you’ll find that it’s not true for all companies. I’m excited that 12 companies that we surveyed beat the averages by a substantial amount in our study, Unlocking the Full Potential of Women at Work. And MasterCard came close to meeting all four metrics for success.
Everyone wants to work in a place where they are respected and valued and to grow professionally. Everyone wants to belong, to be recognized, to have independence. Researchers don’t find many differences between genders, though there are a few that tell the story. On average, more women than men value meaning at work – to make a difference. More women than men bring emotions to work – both hopes and fears. And by the way, more men than women accept personal risk, leaving their comfort zones to take on more responsibility before they feel ready.
At the end of the day, gender balance is fair, it’s good for my daughters, for business, and for society. Gender balance at work means more opportunities for women to participate in the global economy and therefore increase financial inclusion.
Way to go, MasterCard!