- The absence of women in leadership roles negatively impacts a company's performance, reported Science Daily, citing a paper published in The Economic Journal. According to the researchers, if a company with at least 20% female workers was led by a women CEO, it would see a 14% sales increase per worker.
- The study attributed the sales increases to female leaders being better able to assess workers' skills and put them in the right jobs, which, in turn, increases an organization's performance and reverses the discrimination women face under male leadership. The study is based on data from 1 million workers in Italian manufacturing per year from 1980 to 1997.
- Researchers also found, however, that while female executives narrowed the wage gap for women in the top 25% of an organization by 10%, the pay gap widened for women in the bottom 25% by 3%. The study found the opposite effect for men; female executives increased men's wages at the bottom 25% and decreased wages for the top 25%.
Female leadership has proven to have a positive impact on organizations, according to a broad range of studies. A Peakon study released in March found that female-led teams slightly outscored male-led teams. While the study didn't show significant distinctions between female and male leadership abilities, workers in female-led teams believed more strongly in their organizations than workers led by men.
Women looking to advance in their organizations can take their cues from female executives. In Cigna's Women in Leadership study, female leaders advised women who want to move up to avoid being risk-adverse and urged them to consider taking nontraditional career paths as they advance. The study also found that most women pointed to other women as key to their success. In fact, 80% of the respondents said they believe that women should support and be supported by other women.
The gender-based pay gap continues to be an unresolved issue in the workplace, as the most recent findings suggest. And although Nordstrom and Citigroup have reported progress toward reaching pay equity, women and people of color, especially African Americans, remain at a disadvantage when it comes to earnings. At the current rate, closing the gender gap will take 108 years, according to an index published by the World Economic Forum. Closure, according to a study by the Women Tech Council, must begin with support from the top, with CEOs putting their full weight behind efforts to rid the workplace of pay inequality.