Female leadership’s contributions to organizations and companies is indisputable. In high-level positions, women and men’s perspectives actually complement one another. Women demonstrate many skills, such as advising others, achieving objectives, developing projects and finding solutions. Their other strengths include reconciliation, horizontal and inclusive leadership, multitasking and empathy. An analysis by McKinsey & Company shows that companies with a gender-balanced workforce are 15% more likely to perform better financially. Companies with more women on their boards outperform other companies by 53%.
The benefits of female leadership extend to building organizations’ reputations. Since gender equality is one of the most relevant issues in our society, companies should not only favor it, but take concrete actions to ensure it. This will, in turn, elevate and consolidate their reputation.
Hill+Knowlton Strategies® Chile and GfK Adimark have spent over 17 years studying reputational intelligence with the hopes that organizations improve; they have a unique vision regarding the challenge of listening to different audiences. As part of the “2018 Corporate Reputation Study,” H+K and GfK have incorporated new attributes that measure the presence of women in high positions against the compatibility between personal life and work life.
According to Chile 3D 2018, more than 75% of women view the salary gap as the most evident inequality between men and women. The occupation of managerial positions is in second place (48%).
Mercer, a global human resources consultant, carried out a survey, “When Women Thrive 2017,” which revealed that women’s wages are continually lower than those of men in the same positions. This helps maintain a gender wage gap of 17% in Latin America. Though 64% of the surveyed organizations and companies recognize the need for a more diverse workforce, only a small percentage has implemented part-time hours, flexibility and maternity programs. The representation of women in the workforce remains low at 39%, with just 31% occupying managerial roles and barely 16% in executive positions. Latin America has shown progress in the reduction of workplace gender inequalities; however, there is still a long way to go.
High profile public-private partnerships show firm steps taken toward gender equality. The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Economic Forum came together to promote women’s professional development. Their leadership worked to improve decision-making and reduce the gender wage gap. Since the Gender Parity Initiative (GPI) was launched in Chile, more than 100 entities have joined. Other countries such as Argentina, Panama and Peru, have already implemented this same model.
Women hold senior positions in sectors such as government: Latin America stands out with six female presidents currently in office. As a region, it has the second-highest number of women parliamentarians.
But, challenges persist. Companies and organizations need to break stereotypes regarding women’s capabilities in top-level positions. Policies should be incorporated which benefit women’s professional development and quality of life so that promoting women to leadership is sustainable.
Women who hold high positions are being called upon to help advocate for those who will come after them. Women are encouraged to be generous with apprenticeships, foster a more inclusive work environment and actively participate in empowering platforms. From there, organizational stakeholders will take notice, women will get promoted and, ultimately, the company will get a reputational win.

Translated from original posting here.

By: Claudia Gioia