Why “Female” Skills Are Worth More

Senate Joint Economic Committee's 2010 report, "Invest in Women, Invest in America.”

Companies with the most women on their boards post 66% higher returns on invested capital, and 42% higher returns on sales than companies with the fewest women represented.
Fortune 500 companies that promote women to senior roles consistently outperform their competitors.

In fact, the report concludes, female leadership is crucial to America’s economic growth.

With numbers like those, you would think every CEO in America would be scrambling to attract and retain—i.e. pay and promote—female employees.

But no. The needle hasn’t moved on the “women earn 80 cents to a man’s dollar” thing. And we’ll skip the statistics about the lack of women in the C-suites.

So what’s a girl to do now?

The answer, as Sheryl Sandberg pointed out in her game-changing TED speech, lies with you (and us).

According to the Senate report, which cites a study of 800 companies, there are reasons why companies with women in powerful positions succeed:

Women are active role models
Women set achievable expectations
Women reward accomplishments
Women encourage others to contribute

Translation: What looks like “nice” behavior—cooperation, team-building, mentoring—is actually powerful and profitable.

Maybe it’s time for a new definition of leadership.

Take the lead. Does your company recognize your most profitable skills? Do you?

photo source: nps.gov