There have been significant and positive shifts in the approach to women’s roles in society around the world. More women are now moving to leadership positions, occupying more seats in the boardroom, scaling successful companies, and even making a successful political presence.
Today we have Rhenu to discuss how women could be the next frontier of growth. Rhenu is a partner with Frost & Sullivan and has been very passionate about the subject on harnessing the power of women in an organisation.
Q: Rhenu, Organizations with more female executives benefit from better company profits and performance – is this true?
Rhenu: Let me begin by saying – Companies with at least one female board member have increased performance by 10% in contrast with companies with no female board members.
There are examples – Companies like LinkedIn, British Airways, Nike – all of them have their management comprised of more than 30% women and all of them have reported up to a 25% increase in profits.
Companies with high gross profits show higher rates of women in management roles. Wal-Mart and Bank of America have seen high profits in tandem with high rates of women in managerial positions.
Q: Companies do want to improve top and bottom lines, that remains to be very critical – then why aren’t we seeing more women power at workplace today?
Rhenu: Good news is the trend is heading North – look at companies in sectors such as retail. This industry engages 63% of women in its total workforce. Companies such as H&M and GAP are leading retail brands and have the highest number of women in management.
China, Asia’s diversity leader, heads the race globally with a 76% workforce participation rate of women.
In the last two years, the number of board seats held by women in France has doubled.
In the next decade, women will change the workforce landscape with an average participation rate of more than 40%; this will add 250 Million more women to the global labor force.
Q: ASEAN is expected to be home to almost 10% of the world’s working aged adults by 2025. Where do you see this region with regards to women participation?
Rhenu: There are strong social indications leaning towards equality of labor participation in most countries in ASEAN despite weak female empowerment.
Some countries are already ahead and are progressing well. The Philippines is 2nd in female ability to rise to positions of leadership and has highest percentage of firms with female participation in ownership – close to 70%. Similarly in Indonesia more females are enrolled than males in primary, secondary and tertiary education
By 2025, there are likely to be close to 120 Million women professionals in the workforce as compared to about a 100 Million in 2015 in ASEAN
Q: Thank you Rhenu, any last words before we end?
Rhenu: Women can drive the world’s economy as they represent a growth market bigger than China and India combined. In the next decade, this market will be bigger than the US economy.
We infact have extensive research on this subject and the our study findings are quite revolutionary and really highlights how companies are working towards better leveraging women power in business.