What are the big disruptive trends shaking up your industry? In life sciences, genomic sequencing is changing how medicines are developed. Robotics are transforming manufacturing. In power and utilities, energy storage and distributed generation are forcing a rethink of the industry’s entire operating model. The automotive industry, where I’ve worked for much of my career, is bracing for the fast approaching reality of driverless cars.
Whatever your industry, wherever your business, change driven by technology and customer demands is transforming how you work, grow, generate revenue and engage with customers. But as boardrooms around the world develop strategies to successfully adapt to these trends, are they missing one critical element?
The changes taking place in our industries today are unprecedented. We need new ideas, creative approaches and fresh perspectives, which can only come from having diverse voices in the boardroom. We need to hear from people with a variety of work and life experiences, cultures and backgrounds. And we certainly need to hear from more women.
Gender diverse leadership is closely linked to an organization’s ability to innovate and to generate profits:
- An analysis of the S&P Composite 1500 found that firms with women at the top were worth on average $40m more than those without.
- The Peterson Institute for International Economics, meanwhile, found that boards with 30% or more women could add up to 6% to their net margins.
The evidence is clear. Having more women in senior roles helps businesses to innovate and perform better. Improving gender diversity must therefore be central to any business’s strategy to navigate disruption.
But right now, no industry is anywhere near achieving gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicts it will take another 202 years.