Nicole Cottrell, Marketing Manager, Services, Ricoh Canada Inc.

Leaders who think differently & lead differently get innovative and powerful results.

Today’s competitive landscape is a dynamic and fierce arena where innovation and development are the keys to sustainable and profitable growth. High-quality leadership across businesses has never been more important. Statistically, global organizations with more women in leadership roles outperform their competition and more women in executive boardrooms yield higher returns for companies. As leaders, influencers and agents of change, we recognize that optimizing female talent potential and developing more qualified women in leadership roles are critical to business success. 

Strong mentorship, effective role models & relevant skills development are raising awareness & support amongst men and women alike which is proving instrumental in encouraging our female colleagues to actively participate, apply for higher-level managerial roles and seek out leadership opportunities to contribute to better, stronger businesses and a winning formula for sustainable growth.

So much quality material has been published & created over the past several years to inspire, develop and enable global female business leaders through publications, studies, social media, not for profit organizations & corporate practise, to name just a few.

TD Bank’s expansion of their Corporate Responsibility website showcases their “Women in Leadership” that evidences a 60% increase in senior leadership roles across the organization… 

Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” is an insightful & relevant read for everyone interested in contributing to a more equitable business world…

California’s 2020 national campaign is an American game changer targeting 20% female corporate board representation by 2020 & redefines successful corporate governance whilst setting pivotal gender diversity standards in business… 

The list goes on and the resounding message across these and other channels is that alongside our male colleagues, female business leadership brings a uniquely complementary perspective and skill set to the business of cultivating corporate culture and developing a healthy, successful organization with an even more profitable bottom line. 

DDI Consulting’s 2011 Global Leadership Forecast (“Women Work: the Business Benefits of Closing the Gender Gap”) asserts that women, especially at the senior level, help organizations perform better which makes sense considering women comprise almost half the workforce and over 80% of the consumer market. The study found that the correlation between female leadership and financial performance was the strongest of the studied criteria where the commonly perceived “softer” criteria often attributed to female business professionals such as engagement and retention had weaker correlations but still statistically significant links to having more women in leadership positions. The DDI study concluded that the top 20% of the best performing global companies had 27% key leadership roles held by women across the entire business where the bottom 20% of companies only had 19% female leadership roles. 

The Anita Borg Institute found that Fortune 500 companies with at least 3 female senior directors have a 42% higher return on sales. A 2014 Credit Suisse report corroborated in finding that companies with more women on the Board of Directors had higher returns on equity, better stock performance and higher dividend payouts. Researchers examined 28,000 executives at 3,000 companies in 40 countries, known as the “Gender 3000 database”, and found that companies where 50% or more of the leadership roles were held by women had average annual returns of 28.7% versus 19.1% in all companies. Average annual returns were 22.8% for companies where 25% of the top jobs were held by women and 25.6% where at least 33% of the leadership roles were held by women.

Gender diversity in business leadership creates an inclusive environment rich in ideas, innovation, growth and opportunity; organizations that are confronting the gender gap head-on in recruiting, developing & retaining female leadership are poised to take advantage of top female talent; tap into the unstudied female buyer mindset; maximize market opportunity; and achieve elevated business targets. 

Leaders who think differently & lead differently get innovative and powerful results.