What Benefits Can Women Bring to Your Team?
Updated: Mar 4
Following the recent Presidential election in the United States, Kamala Harris has been elected as the next vice president, alongside Joe Biden as the president-elect. This historical election marks Harris becoming the first female vice-president and the highest-ranking female elected official in the history of the USA. This week, we’re taking a look at what benefits women can bring to a team, whether in politics or projects.
As a female-led team, we’re invested in promoting women in the workplace. Of course, all women and men have different skill sets and can flourish in different ways. However, studies have demonstrated certain areas in which women thrive, and so can bring a new expertise to your company.
In a 2016 study by the consulting firm Hay Group, it was found that women excel in soft skills compared to men. Soft skills, otherwise referred to as emotional intelligence, include networking, critical thinking, self-motivation, collaboration and communication. Despite being historically undervalued in the workplace, more and more employers are beginning to recognise the value of these soft skills. One of the developers of the study, Richard E. Boyatzis, stated that ‘[i]f more men acted like women in employing their emotional and social competencies, they would be substantially and distinctly more effective in their work.’ Soft skills are not merely an occasional advantage, but can drive productivity and profit.
Communication and Collaboration
A subsequent benefit of the soft skills women tend to offer is the increased communication and collaboration. As strong communicators, women more regularly ensure that goals and expectations are conveyed clearly and confidently. However, it is not only a one-way system of communication. Strong communicators also encourage feedback and questions, helping to clarify uncertainties. Additionally, this communication promotes greater collaboration. One group of researchers in the USA found that women are better at making deals in the Senate than men with greater collaboration between parties. Communication and collaboration are vital in project management to avoid mistakes, confusion and inefficient project execution.
It is widely acknowledged that greater diversity leads to diverse representation and, consequently, diverse thought. By not only including women in your team, but in positions of power and authority, you can advance your problem solving. Greater creativity and diverse thought result in better decisions as a greater breadth of options will have been considered. Furthermore, women are often more sensitive to potential underlying problems. Rather than just considering the problems faced at a surface level, women are more likely to evaluate the situation more holistically and identify the intricate hidden hurdles your company might be facing. These skills allow us to step in at any stage of a project and help overcome any issues to reach success.
Studies show that women are more widely perceived as being more trustworthy than men. Whereas 34% of American workers believe women are more honest and ethical than men, only 3% believe men supersede women in this field. Greater trust within a team is always a benefit, but the trust established with a consultancy is essential to ensure effective collaboration.