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Women’s Voices Make Businesses Better

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.

Years in the past, girls who needed to be taken severely within the enterprise world needed to assume the traits of a person in a male-dominated world. They wearing darkish fits, spoke in deep voices, took aggressive and assertive stances within the boardroom and in negotiations, and confirmed little to no emotion. How ridiculous, if not unnatural, to be compelled to downplay one’s gender.

Despite the large strides girls have made in enterprise, politics, leisure and the humanities over the previous a long time, we nonetheless have an extended approach to go earlier than they’re absolutely built-in and celebrated within the American workforce. It begins with highlighting and emulating the distinctive qualities and traits which have enabled girls to succeed — the attributes that set them aside from their male counterparts.

Businesses that need to achieve success should not solely rent and promote girls; they need to hearken to and study from them. When girls are absolutely included in enterprise, all people succeeds.

Don’t rent blindly

To actually achieve success, companies ought to deliver extra girls into the fold in any respect ranges. Recruiting and hiring processes ought to be sure that gender shouldn’t be an element, both explicitly or subliminally. Application questions needs to be written in a approach that doesn’t determine gender, and recruiting needs to be achieved by various channels, not simply by the “old boys’ network.”

That being said, there is no such thing as blind or unbiased hiring. Even if we believe ourselves to be fair and open-minded, we are all shaped and shadowed by our backgrounds and experiences. So let’s take the blinders off.

At some point in the process, your recruiter will know the gender of the applicant, and if your company did its job of diversifying outreach, chances are that applicant will be female. Don’t try to overlook her gender. Instead, do whatever you can to find a place in your organization where she can learn, grow and contribute — and pay her adequately.

Related: Be The Change: Lessons From A Woman In Business (For Other Women In Business)

Women work differently

Women are natural team leaders and players. They typically read the room, non-verbal cues and body language better than their male counterparts. They tend to be more direct and transparent, as well as more supportive of others. When male egos and rivalries are tempered or removed, the workplace can be less toxic and more productive.

They must also teach their male leaders and workers how to embrace the qualities women exemplify. These are traits inherent in most men, but men have been trained to suppress them. Imagine a workplace in which people actually listened to each other. Envision a company where more workers supported others’ efforts and celebrated others’ achievements. This shouldn’t be something to imagine, but to foster.

It’s happening now at women-owned and run companies. For example, Bobbie, a company founded and led by mothers, created a new employee support system after its cofounder saw how the pandemic was changing the landscape for working women. As mothers across the country were dropping out of the workforce to care for parents and young children, a new in-house role was established to provide balance for workers juggling work-life demands, to alleviate the invisible mental weight.

All workers, not just working moms, could benefit from such a system, as could the companies for whom they work. A more balanced workforce — one in which stress is lowered and productivity is increased — can only improve a company’s bottom line. 

Women deserve more

So why is it that women continue to be undervalued and, in many professions, pretty much shut out? In March, we marked on the calendar the number of extra days women, on average, must work to earn what men, on average, earned the prior year. For mothers and many women of color, this date is still a long way off.

The good news is that women are no longer settling. If they can’t be accepted and valued in the “good old boys” membership, they’ll unapologetically create their very own workplaces. Women are grasp networkers who select collaboration over competitors and know {that a} excessive tide lifts all boats. They perceive the significance of connecting with clients and stakeholders. They worth household and crew over their very own egos.

Related: Female Business Owners Share Successes, Challenges, and Advice for Entrepreneurs

Women are succeeding

And they’re succeeding. Female startup founders with all-female groups obtained $6.9 billion in enterprise funding in 2021, in comparison with $3.3 billion in 2020, in line with a latest report from PitchBook Data. Mixed-gender groups with at the very least one feminine founder obtained $47 billion in VC funding in 2021, up from $19 billion in 2020. In 2022, enterprise corporations have already invested $980 million in all-female founding groups, in comparison with $758 million for all of 2012, in line with the report.

Investors don’t throw cash away. They do their due diligence and make investments solely once they believe they’ll see a superb return on their funding. Business house owners ought to do the identical. They ought to look past antiquated biases and stereotypes, and put money into a workforce that welcomes and celebrates girls and their distinctive insights, vitality and skills.

 

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