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Paving the Way for Gender Inclusive Leadership: Overcoming Bias

Diversity in leadership teams is no longer a mere moral obligation but a strategic necessity. A 2020 McKinsey report** shared that there is a 21% higher likelihood of above-average profitability for companies with gender inclusive leadership teams. It reinforces the idea that gender diversity is a business must. It’s not about ticking “boxes”; it creates a tangible financial advantage.

One key reason behind this success is the diversity of perspectives, which fosters innovation, builds greater connection and enables better decision-making. Diverse teams avoid groupthink and adapt quickly to the fast-changing circumstances our economies and markets are experiencing.

A lack of gender diversity isn’t just restricting women from achieving leadership roles. It creates a disconnection between your employees and your leadership, between your organisation and its clients and between your organisation and your competitor employers.

Women in her 40s standing at the front of the room, at the head of a long boardroom style table. Around the table are her team - men and women, black, white and asian. They all look ver interested in what she is saying.

Engaging and retaining brilliant women leaders requires embracing, valuing and rewarding both feminine and masculine leadership qualities, which individuals of any gender can embody. These qualities include empathy, collaboration, assertiveness, strategic thinking, and risk-taking. When these qualities are collectively present, everyone becomes more effective and more agile, individually and collectively.

Sadly, challenges remain as we continue to strive to break age-old gender biases that persist around what successful leadership is. Mansplaining, selective deafness in meetings, crediting a male colleague rather than the female contributor, systems that reflect male preferences or behavioural styles, “office housework” falling to female team members and so on. 

Our women’s leadership development programmes enable women to tackle these challenges with higher levels of confidence and self-worth, and with less sacrifice and exhaustion. The SOAR programmes empower participants to find greater emotional resilience and provide pragmatic, easily applicable approaches to solving key issues so that they can be more effective and impactful both for their organisations and for themselves.

A Black woman in a bright orange blazer is leaning over the table with her colleagues focuses on the task in front of them. They are all looking towards the right at one colleague who is speaking

The McKinsey report’s message is clear: to remain competitive, inspire innovation, and thrive in this rapidly changing world, organisations must demolish gender barriers, champion all of their people, and embrace both feminine and masculine leadership styles’ advantages.

What are you doing?

Overcoming gender bias in leadership is the way forward and we can help you reap the rewards of gender diverse leadership. We stand as a beacon of support for organisations seeking to develop inclusive leadership and harness the full potential of their female talent.

A smiling white guy is shaking hands with his colleagues who are cheering and clapping his success.

Want to know more about our corporate training and coaching, or how we support Women’s Forums, Networks or ERGs? Drop us a line and request your copy of our corporate brochure at hello@soarleadership.co.uk – let’s connect and arrange a call to see how we can travel this road together!

Or if you’re curious about joining our open programme, check out our flagship SOAR: Take Flight & Lead page. Our next cohort begins in April 2024.

** Reference: Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, McKinsey & Co, May 2020 www.mckinsey.com/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters-vf.pdf