Boards of directors — for corporate enterprises, charitable organizations, professional societies — play extremely important and responsible oversight roles. The way I see it, they are positions women should aspire to as they provide the opportunity to analyze and validate the strategy of an organization, broaden their business perspective and make them better professionals and leaders within their own organization.
Female board members are far from the only beneficiaries of this leadership opportunity, however.
The Digital Age Calls For A Multi-Lens View
The positive outcomes realized by organizations stem from the guidance they receive from a rich mix of thinkers on their boards. The digital age requires leaders to continuously analyze how the various aspects of their businesses intersect. That necessitates a multi-lens view of the organization. Therefore, intentionally bringing qualified women into this space adds a level of richness to the board’s approach. Not only does this mix of thinkers generate a diversified way of looking at issues, but it also avoids the potential for the development of an innovation-stifling echo chamber.
Across many industries, there is growing acknowledgment that legacy organizations need a different kind of thinking to go faster than they’ve ever gone before. What’s more, consumers are empowered through at-my-fingertips technology to choose market newcomers. To combat these market pressures, traditional providers have to shift quickly away from command and control leadership. They have to make courageous choices, and that calls for more voices at the table.
Female Leaders Bring Competencies From Critical Thinking To Empathy
Beyond lending an alternate viewpoint, I find female leaders tend to be extremely skilled developers of high-performing teams, which may be due to strong competency around communication and critical thinking. Equally powerful, however, are talents like activating empathy and creating a safe and respectful workplace made up of those from different backgrounds, all working together in the pursuit of a singular strategy. The latter of these is especially important for attracting younger workers who say they want to be a part of something people are building together (subscription required).