To celebrate International Women’s Day, which the world celebrated last week, let’s take a look at how women make a difference at the workplace, and especially when it comes to employee engagement.
Women are increasingly becoming an indispensable part of the world’s labor force. In the United States, for example, 47% of the labor force is female. Usually though, when we write about how women are not represented in the workforce it often involves how women are underrepresented in executive positions – despite women making up 52% of the professional workforce, only a fraction of all executives are female.
However, if there’s one bright spot in how women executives run their teams or companies, it’s that they do really well in a metric that really matters: employee engagement.
In 2013, The Atlantic published the results of a study that shows that women are on average more able to engage their employees than men are, with an engagement rate of up to 32% for female managers managing female employees. On the whole, teams managed by women reported higher rates of employee engagement than did teams managed by men.
Why is this the case? Bringing in new perspectives is always a plus for any team. Women, and women executives in particular, can bring in new perspectives to how the team ought to function – perspectives that are usually not heard in homogeneous or dominant-gender teams – and these perspectives are often introduced in environments where managers allow their team members to speak freely.
In addition, we should also consider that female employees are often the beneficiaries of more flexible work arrangements, which in turn allows them to feel more committed to the work that they do. The study published in The Atlantic also hints to how appreciation for these arrangements is compensated through working harder and being more engaged in the work they do.
We have seen many examples of how women have excelled in the workplace. Even in the field we specialize in, women can do better, and we salute this International Women’s Day both our women in the workforce and our women in employee engagement who help make corporate teams work better every single day.