International Women's Day is always a great opportunity to shed light on important issues of equality.
As a talent solutions company, one of the topics we're always concerned with is gender bias.
It goes without saying that gender bias, or indeed any kind of unconscious bias, is a serious issue for any organisation.
We've already discussed exactly how unconscious bias works and its implications for an organisation in the new world of work. Those who don't make the right measures to tackle unconscious bias in their selection and development will ultimately struggle.
Why? In 2008,Morgan Philips Group produced a report called: Could the Right Man for the Job be a Woman? It studied more than 500 leaders, both male and female.
That report found some key differences between male and female leaders. For example, male leaders are more likely to be traditionally extroverted, but female leaders meanwhile tend to score higher when it comes to things like altruism and conscientiousness. The list goes on.
A few years later, we built on those findings with a new report: Emerging Female Leaders in Europe. It established that the skills needed to create success in the new world of work would differ greatly to those of the past.
Crucially though, it also laid out these key findings:
Despite a narrowing gap in the differences between men and women, female leaders tend to be more organised, have a more conceptual view, and adopt abstract thinking techniques when it comes to problem-solving. Female leaders are also more open to change, they follow a human approach and adopt a more open style of communication.
Basically, these are the characteristics that will begin to influence corporate behaviour in the future. These are the strengths we need for success in the new world of work. And they're all present in the next generation of female leaders.
This isn’t just an issue of equality for equality’s sake. It's about finding the people who are most suited to lead an organisation. And our research indicates that the emerging generation of female leaders are the people to look to. These are the people who can spearhead this new style of leadership in the new world of work.
That's why mindset is ultimately the key to tackling gender bias.
Why? Because mindset is about identifying those strengths like collaboration, tackling challenges and inspiring change. Mindset uses science, not instinct or gut feeling, to help attract, retain and develop the right people for your organisation – the people who can lead your organisation in the future.
Without action, gender bias, unconscious or otherwise, will continue to be a problem for organisations all over the world.
But for those who measure those attributes suited to the new world of work – those who measure mindset – they’ll be able to unlock the potential of a whole new generation of female leaders.