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Internationally, Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March and the theme for 2024 is “Inspire Inclusion”. This is a powerful message encouraging a call to action that extends beyond one day. The message urges all to create a world where women are actively included and feel empowered irrespective of their backgrounds, circumstances, and identities.

These include:

Celebrating diversity: Recognizing and valuing the contributions, perspectives, and unique experiences of women from all walks of life

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Equal access to resources and opportunities: This includes careers, education, healthcare, politics, and other areas where females continue facing systematic barriers

Participation and representation in decision-making: Ensuring women are represented in various ways that are responsible for impacting their lives

Outcomes of creating inclusive environments

  • Creating an equitable and just society by fostering belongingness and respect for all individuals
  • Improving problem-solving and innovation encouraged through diverse perspectives and experiences
  • Increasing leadership and participation resulting in a balanced representation across top roles

Exploring the role of women leaders in shaping tomorrow’s world

Female leaders play an important role in shaping the future by contributing to innovation, positive changes, and progress. Here are some ways that women leaders shape the future:

  • Empowerment and inspiration

Women in leadership roles inspire others and break barriers to demonstrate that gender does not limit one’s potential. Inspiring through their achievements female leaders empower other women and marginalized groups to follow their career goals, aim for higher roles and contribute to organizational and societal progress.

  • Cognitive diversity

This is an important element brought in by women leaders. Balanced positions encourage innovative ideas and opportunities to consider issues from different perspectives. Diverse teams are more innovative as they combine people from different backgrounds, cultures, educational qualifications, and experiences to resolve workplace issues. Studies show that teams with more women leaders score higher on collective intelligence due to their greater social sensitivity which facilitates collaborative team working.

  • Education and mentorship

Several female leaders are actively engaged in driving educational initiatives and mentorship programs to support future generations. Offering guidance and support, women leaders contribute towards the development and growth of future leaders and professionals.

  • Transformational leadership

Women enjoy higher ratings in characteristics, such as consideration, influence, and motivation which makes them more adept at demonstrating transformational leadership styles. Additionally, they exhibit other positive traits like fostering cooperation through effective communication, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness, which transforms into a positive leadership style.

  • Corporate equality

Female leaders make greater contributions to bringing gender equality in workplaces and challenging systemic biases. Additionally, they strongly advocate equal opportunities, fair wages, and organizational policies that support work-life balance.

  • Crisis management and resilience

When faced with challenges, women are more resilient and demonstrate highly effective crisis management skills. They have a natural ability to navigate through crisis with empathy and strategic thinking capabilities to develop greater resilient communities and teams.

  • Innovative problem-solving

Female leaders bring unique approaches and perspectives to resolve problems and contribute to finding more creative and comprehensive solutions. With their diverse experiences, women often have a broader comprehension of complicated issues and effectively navigate through challenging situations.

  • Corporate responsibility and sustainability

Women in leadership roles are more empathetic towards understanding the role of corporations to make positive contributions to society and prioritize corporate social responsibility and sustainability. They often drive initiatives that focus on environmental sustainability, ethical business practices, and community development.

How companies can celebrate women leaders?

Ensure review processes include female leadership behaviors and competencies and eliminate characteristics that commonly related to male leaders

  • Set clear goals linked to gender diversity and demonstrate complete transparency by setting clear actions and quantifiable targets
  • Actively educate teams to understand the benefits of female leaders and the importance of inclusion
  • Leading by example and inspiring the next generation of women leaders within the workplace
  • Encouraging women to participate in leadership development programs to acquire the skills that will make them effective leaders

Companies, countries, and society will benefit from the presence of women in leadership roles as it will bring improvements on multiple fronts. These include substantial and sustained growth, higher performance, improved health and wellness, and enhanced quality of life. To conclude “Inspire Inclusion” is not a theme but a call to action. Companies can actively foster inclusivity to empower women, unlock their potential and build a brighter world in the future.