Mixed Leadership as a Business Need: Why Diversity Management?


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Actually, according to the Federal Government, the 2016% women quota has been successively introduced in large German companies, supervisory boards and the public sector since 30. But why does not it work out with women in management positions?

Mixed Leadership as a Business Need: Why Diversity Management? mixed-leadership2


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Britta Posner britta_posnerBritta Posner is an Integral Business Coach and leads the company consulting The Collaboration Practice.

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As of 2018, the quota of women on supervisory boards should even rise to 50%. If the companies now fulfill their duty, then everything is settled.

Actually ... On the background of the fact that women make up today 5.7% of the German board of directors and 18.9% of the German supervisory boards seems very ambitious this goal. But how can these goals be realistically and meaningfully implemented? Because it seems as if the ratio does not move so right from the spot.

View to Europe

After all, according to a long-term study by Ernst and Young from the year 2012 the proportion of female board members has increased between 2005 and 2010 from 5% to 8%. That's still just a drop in the bucket.

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With regard to our European neighbors, we also have to realize soberly that a quota system is not a panacea. Norway, the country with the highest percentage of women in board members (2011%) in 34, has a quotas since 2008. Sweden, the country with the second largest share (27%), has no quotas.

Diversity pays

So if a quota does not automatically "fix everything," how do we get there? But before we start thinking about the "how", we should ask ourselves "why" does such a development make sense at all?

Everything has worked so far. The answer is clear and sufficiently substantiated by studies: Diversity pays. Companies with at least a quarter of women in their governing bodies achieve significantly better results than companies without women at the top.

Women matter

According to McKinsey, which has released 2013's "Women Matter" study, these companies average 47% return and 55% win rate. 2012's long-term study from Ernst and Young confirms these observations: companies with female board members are achieving average 20% revenue growth and an average 22% profit increase.

But also "soft" Success Factors improve significantly through an entrepreneurial mixed leadership approach. Reduced employee turnover, reduced absenteeism and an almost 100% on-time / on-budget project completion are just some of the examples.

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Society is also to blame

If the mixed leadership advantages are so clear, why do not we see any faster change?

Responsibility for the status quo is not the responsibility of the company alone. On the contrary. Country-specific, cultural and socioeconomic factors have a strong influence on the role of women in enterprises. The same applies to women's own understanding of roles and their behavior based on them.

If one loses, both lose

One of the biggest hurdles in this context is the awareness among women as well as men that we are not living in a black and white world. If one wins, does not necessarily lose the other. But if one loses, both lose.

Boys are still socialized as girls in the traditional Germany. Men measure themselves at other men. Never to women. And so their focus is primarily on their competitors.

Diversity measures are considered unfair

How can we expect leaders who have grown up in such a conservative society model to recognize that women are more difficult than themselves to climb the career ladder?

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Indeed, according to a McKinsey study, men tend to regard diversity policies in their companies as being unfair to them. In addition, many managers are convinced that their management does not support the corresponding "diversity measures". So why bother? Because it pays, as I will show in the second part of the post.


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