Spolier: yes, leadership coaching for women is a win-win investment.
The business world was created by men, for men. Yes, we have made lots of progress in the direction of equality, and yes, more women than ever before are now part of the workforce. But to put it in perspective, if we keep moving at the current rate, gender equality in top positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years.
Let’s pick up the pace! Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes and to be honest, right now, the world is in desperate need of great leaders. So how can we bridge the gap that has been created by a long tradition of societal inequality and harness the power of over 50% of the population? How can we set people up for success, and enable great leaders to emerge?
One solution is this: we give marginalised groups the tools to flourish in a system that works against them. Leadership coaching equips women with the skills and mindset necessary to navigate complex corporate structures, fostering an environment where recognition is based on merit, not gender.
But is it really worth the investment?
How leadership coaching for women really creates ROI
There are two key points that we want to make clear here:
- Leadership coaching for women creates more effective female leaders, which increases gender-diversity in leadership teams. More diversity means more profit. Big win.
- Leadership coaching for women creates more brilliant leaders (who happen to be female). More brilliant leaders means more profit. Another big win.
The bottom line is this: investing in developing your female talent is always a win-win solution.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into how, exactly, female leadership coaching delivers a ROI.
Diversity feeds innovation
Research shows that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform non-diverse companies. Investing in leadership coaching propels women into key decision-making roles, which increases diversity of perspective within leadership teams. Harvard Business Review suggests that having a diverse set of leadership styles can enhance problem-solving and boost creativity within teams. If innovation thrives on diversity, then more gender diversity will not only generate variety of perspective, it will supercharge a team’s ability to think creatively and innovate.
Female role models create better organisations
One of the largest issues facing the female leadership movement is lack of role models. It is much harder for a young woman starting out in an organisation to imagine herself as a senior leader, if the C-suite is filled with men. Decades of research shows that having relatable role models is key to individual success. Role models also increase employee engagement – when talent feels inspired by those around them, they are far more likely to engage in the work and progress faster.
By investing in leadership coaching for women, organisations can develop stronger female leaders, which consequentially creates more role models for young talent – thereby increasing bench strength at the same time. In this way, leadership coaching for women becomes a self-propagating cycle, fostering and developing more powerful leaders for the future.
Getting through the layer of men
Leadership coaching in itself is a brilliant way to supercharge your leadership standard throughout your organisation. However, the problem of equality often starts at the very bottom of the ladder; for every 100 men that get promoted that first step up to management, only 87 women will. This means that with every step closer to the top leadership positions, there are fewer women in the talent pool. The reasons for this are lengthy and complex, and you can read more about them in our white paper (LINK). But the bottom line is, for a myriad of reasons, women are presented with fewer opportunities for progression and therefore tend to move up the ladder to leadership slower than men (despite doing 10% more of the work than men on average).
Ultimately, if you want to create more brilliant leaders in your organisation, whatever the gender, we would recommend investing in leadership coaching. And if you want to create more brilliant leaders, while also increasing your level of gender diversity at the top of your organisation, we would recommend investing in your female leaders.
Embarking on a leadership coaching journey is not just an investment in empowering the individual; it is also a strategic move that can yield impressive returns for business. The transformative nature of coaching creates ripples that can reshape the future of leadership within an organisation and deliver tangible returns on investment. The ROI isn’t only financial; it manifests in higher leadership standards, more creativity and innovation, and a self-propagating cycle of brilliant leaders for your organisation.
If you want to learn more about the journey to equality, how this is impacting the world of work, and what you can do to start making a difference then we think you might be interested in our latest white paper.