Women Lead the Way
IN THIS SUMMARY
Linda Tarr-Whelan makes the case in Women Lead the Way that having more women leaders will make a positive difference for everyone. Their management skills and techniques match the 21st century realities of a knowledge-based economy and a diverse global workforce. Women leaders can deliver more equality, opportunity, and empowerment for all women and girls, and positive progress for all. Women are more than half of the U.S. population, yet they occupy only 16% to 20% of leadership positions across major sectors of society. The ideal balance is having at least one-third women at the decision-making table. This "30% Solution" is necessary to have women's ideas, values, and approaches resonate, leading to better results in governments, businesses, communities, and non-profit organizations. The 30% solution also improves business outcomes. Research indicates that firms with more women on their boards make more money than those with fewer. For many people the idea of "leader" is still masculine, an image which depends heavily on perceptions of "decisiveness." This image will shift only when characteristics such as compassion and creativity are seen as critical to leadership. Diversity, inclusion, and consensus are essential to exploring issues fully and making good decisions. Women's tendency toward partnerships, relationships, collaboration, and teamwork will improve productivity, leading to a healthier bottom line. Increased attention to policies that integrate work and family life will lead to healthier businesses and happier families and result in both individual and collective responsibility based on compassion in society, care giving for families, and giving back to the community. Historically, women in the U.S. have been transformational leaders - abolitionists, founders of settlement houses, organizers of efforts to end child labor, suffragettes, and fighters for equality. Today's women can achieve goals such as paid sick leave and expanded family leave practices, close the gender gap, and open doors for more women decision makers.