My career started in the late 70s and early 80s in the golden age of affirmative action.
To me, it was a double-edged sword.
The affirmative action program gave me and other women the chance to prove our worth in the marketplace and move more quickly into management, professional, and technical occupations along with other minorities. But, the cloud of 'she's just an affirmative action hire' was there, too. I often felt I had to work twice as hard and give twice the results to be thought (or paid) half as good as a man.
Over time, women did earn the respect of the workplace. Employers started to see increases in their bottom line, improved communication levels and a flush of new, marketable ideas. In a new paper, The Case for Investing in Women, The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) succinctly lays out compelling reasons based on recent research findings on women in business. Specifics on each of these can be found in the report:
* WOMEN INCREASE INCOME, SALES and EQUITY - Fortune 500 companies with at least three female directors enjoyed increased returns on invested capital of 66% or more, return on sales increase by 42%, and return on equity increase by at least 53%.
* WOMEN BRING INNOVATION - In a study by Dezsö and Ross of 1,500 U.S. ﬁrms in the S&P, female representation in top management improved ﬁnancial performance for organizations where innovation is a key piece of the business strategy.
* WOMEN'S IDEAS RESONATE - In 2012, a NCWIT analysis of women's participation in IT patents found that U.S. patents produced by mixed-gender teams were cited 30% to 40% more than other similar patents.
* WOMEN BRING INTELLIGENCE TO THE TEAM - A study from Professor Anita Woolley, an economist at Carnegie Mellon, revealed that teams with at least one female member have a higher collective IQ than all-male teams.
* WOMEN ADD ORGANIZATIONAL STABILITY - Gallup has found that companies with more diverse teams (including more women) have a 22% lower turnover rate. Organizations with more inclusive cultures also have an easier time with recruiting.
I've been proud to be a women-owned business owner for more than two dozen years. My company, Bluestem Services, is a certified Missouri woman's business enterprise (WBE) https://oeo.mo.gov/oeo_certifications/. The WBE brand gives me greater opportunities to bid on and participate in state bids as a prime contractor or as a subcontractor. But, it also gives non-WBE companies certain bid advantages when they include women like me on their teams.
With increased profits, sales, innovation, intelligence and organizational stability plus certain bid advantages, sometimes the best man for the job is a woman.
Interested in working together? Let's start a conversation! Email Judy Allmon @ BluestemServices@gmail.com, or give me a call or text at 573.230.1196.