Yesterday was the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Day. It was celebrated in different ways and at various levels in countries around the world. Various print media had some interesting, and important, items we should all be aware of as our society moves into the 21st Century.
Things are not equal. Throughout the world many women struggle with political and religious repression. However, in Canada and the western world, women are the new power. Numerous statistics show that there are more and more women being accepted into, and excelling in, medicine, law and, to a less extent, engineering. In fact, women are now in the majority of acceptances to some universities in law and medicine. There has been a huge increase in women entrepreneurs starting their own businesses.
As Margaret Wente said yesterday in the Globe and Mail; “If you are a woman reading this newspaper today, you are singularly blessed. You belong to the freest, most educated, and most affluent group of women in all of human history.”
On both a professional and personal basis, I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by women of substance and intelligence. Elizabeth Fournier has played a senior role in my companies for over 25 years. Carol Ann Cole, a former VP with Bell Canada, has been a friend and advisor on anything important in my life for the same period. I have stated often over the past ten years that I would never own, or manage a company, without having women in senior decision making roles. In my experience, the input of women make the final decision better in every instance.
Months ago an article in the Globe stated that researchers in the United States found group intelligence is linked to social skills, taking turns and the proportion of women in the group. They found that groups that included more women interacted better and participated more equally.
Proof of the decision making power of women, and its growing impact on business, is found everywhere. Under the title; “A woman’s touch rewards shareholders”, the Globe provided a snap-shot of three major companies with women in senior management who had the ability to make real decisions and guide the growth of corporations. Dundee Corporation, Russel Metals and Reitmans Canada were just three examples where women hold over 60% of the senior management positions. The return on equity was excellent in all cases.
The future; I have two awesome granddaughters. Kaila is six and Courtney is three. Kaila talks to her father about his business day, she is reading his emails and the ‘social media’ world is where she will grow-up. Entrepreneurialism is also alive and well, her grandfather is working with her on her first small business selling lemonade this summer.
A thought…. Get women in key decision making roles as soon as possible. I don’t care what your business is. You, your company and your shareholders will be better for it.
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