The Woman Effect: Women + Business = Success
By Dana Theus on February 23, 2012
You know how we all think we’re not enough? We’re not enough for our kids, for our businesses or for ourselves? Well, turn that old narrative off in your head because guess what? Even though so many of us think we’re not enough, hard cold facts – facts that demonstrate how women in business leadership build thriving companies -- say that you are!
About a year ago I started reading research by McKinsey & Associates (2007), Catalyst (2010) and others that demonstrated the link between women in leadership and business results. Serious research. Serious results. McKinsey documented improvements in productivity, profitability, corporate culture and sustainability - in ten different categories of performance – where 30% or more of an organization’s leaders are women. Catalyst’s 2010 numbers show that companies with a significant percentage of women on their boards performed better than those with no women on their boards by 84% return on sales, 60% return on invested capital, and 46% return on equity.
I then started talking to other working women - my colleagues, clients and friends - about this research, entrepreneurs and executives in business, nonprofit and government jobs. They all said, "Really? I had no idea! How cool!" What? They didn't know either? I was shocked and felt compelled to get the word out.
So this week InPower Women is launching The Woman Effect and publishing our Research Index of 60+ studies about women and business. This is a great resource for us to look at what the cold hard facts say about our impact on business, our natural talents and skills and insight into how to grow and get ahead in our careers and in our businesses.
The Woman Effect Means You’re More Than Enough
The fact is that a significant presence of female leaders in an organization measurably contributes to its health and wealth. Period.
Do you know what this means? It means that even with our negative self-talk - feeling never enough and work-life struggles - we are more than enough and we have become a critical ingredient for economic success. And it doesn’t matter if you’re working your way up the Fortune 500 ladder or striking out on your own entrepreneurial adventure. You. Are. Enough.
It means something else too. It means that when we get rid of the negative self-talk, feelings of never enough and work-life guilt, women have the potential to be an even more significant factor in our careers, running our businesses, running our families and in healing our economy and our world.
No more excuses
The Woman Effect has one other implication, which is the reason I'm devoting my professional life to exploring it, raising awareness of it, giving it voice and inviting others to join me and create a powerful chorus. Here it is: now that we know The Woman Effect is not just some wishful idea but real, every woman who participates in the economy which means all of us (even if you 'stay at home' to exercise consumer power and raise the next generation of economic participants); we all bear a responsibility to activate our personal leadership power to play a significant role in the economy. We bear this responsibility whatever that looks like in each of our individual lives - whether you aspire to be on a corporate board, run a kickass small-or-not-so-small business and/or play a leadership role in your volunteer and family life. Why is this your responsibility? Because it all matters. Because it is your world. And because you can.
For me, personally, this means no more excuses. No more whining. No more victimization. My intention from here on out is to use the personal power within me that I can use to activate change and good things in the world. Starting with this. Starting with you.
What about you? Are you ready to put the excuses aside and activate The Woman Effect in your life? In your business? If something is in your way, how will you let it go so you can claim your power to lead? What will it take for you to say “no more excuses”?
Activate the Woman Effect and download The Woman Effect Manifesta today!
In future posts in this series, I’ll explore exactly what it is that makes us so effective in business (so we can do more!); so stay tuned. I welcome thoughts - and especially declarations of how you are living The Woman Effect in your own life - in comments below. Please share this page and invite others!