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Women in Leadership

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Whether they are heading a major corporation or running a small business, leaders — both men and women — bring a combination of strengths to the table. But when it comes to opportunities for professional advancement, too often women are not part of conversation. Now, as more employers are facing talent shortages, the benefits of diversity in the workplace — especially in key leadership roles — are worth re-examining.

According to a recent study by IBM, gender-inclusive organizations that prioritize the advancement of women reap a variety of benefits.

  • They report a rate of revenue growth as much as 61-percent higher than other organizations.
  • Sixty percent report they are more innovative than their competitors.
  • Seventy-three percent say they lead their field in customer satisfaction.

Studies also have outlined that companies with greater gender diversity, not just within their workforce but directly among senior leaders, are significantly more profitable than those without.

Research shows that women appear to perform well in multiple aspects of leadership. A study of 423 companies across the U.S. and Canada by McKinsey & Company and Leanin.org finds women are better than men at providing emotional support to employees (19 percent of men compared with 31 percent of women) and checking in on the well being of employees (54 percent compared with 61 percent). In addition, they are better at helping employees navigate work-life challenges (24 percent of men compared with 29 percent of women) and taking action to prevent or manage employee burnout (16 percent compared with 21 percent). Women also spend more time contributing to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts (7 percent of men compared with 11 percent of women).

In this issue of the MBA Business Magazine, we’ll highlight the many contributions that women leaders are bringing to their organizations and communities. In fact, two of the most influential nonprofit organizations in northwest Pennsylvania — United Way of Erie County and The Erie Community Foundation — are leading the way by ushering in a new era of leadership and collaboration.

We’ll also talk with Adrienne Dixon, Ph.D., president and CEO of Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, on her thoughts about women in leadership and the growing demand for diversity, equity and inclusion in today’s work world. She’ll also be our featured speaker at the MBA’s highly anticipated Women in Leadership IMPACT event on April 7 in Erie, so be sure to reserve your seat now!

In this special issue, you’ll also want to check out our expert articles on why training has become such a sought-after benefit for women in the workforce and how to better foster inclusivity in a post- COVID work world. Plus, don’t miss our special section celebrating the MBA’s recent training graduates who have mastered our regionally recognized computer and supervisory skills certification series.

At the MBA, we value education and training, and providing new ways for our members to stay innovative and competitive. To learn more about our many training programs, including leadership and our new DEI Workshop series, visit mbausa.org.