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Women's Leadership 2022

Cecilia Besa

Do women contribute more than diversity, another perspective or more humanity in companies? Is it valued? Specifically, do they add value to companies, or rather, do they improve the work environment?

As a woman, sometimes it’s frustrating for me to hear that our feminine contribution is a perspective, as if we came from a world that only belongs to women and men cannot see. I don't think that's real. In my years’ of knowing executives, both women and men, I have understood two things about the difference; The first has to do with our personality structure, which is without a doubt, more emotional and sensitive and listen to others easily. The second difference, I think women develop a less planned career driven by circumstances and the multifunctional reality that they manage. At a base, I think there is an idea that if I am not "as full" in my work (as I should be), I only manage to be the best possible version and apparently, that would not be enough to have an ambitious north, and of course, we are the queens of overcoming obstacles and taking the opportunities that come our way.

Let's see the first point, the pandemic showed that the differential contribution of women did have a value, and a very specific one. According to a 2021 McKinsey study, women, through their close leadership closeness brought crucial value to companies. Compared to men in similar positions, female managers are constantly promoting employee wellness, including organizing team members in helping them better manage workloads and providing support to those who are dealing with burnout or facing work or personal challenges.

Not only did the pandemic play a role, according to the study, the problems of racism in recent years in the USA have triggered a recognition of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Apparently, for different reasons, this valuation of DEI spread in several countries, Chile is not exempt from this. Clearly, young people today are looking for a good workplace and have their eyes on these values ​​and how companies implement them.

The results of the study also include that high-level women are twice as likely as men at the same level, to spend a considerable amount of time on DEI outside of their formal job responsibilities. This is represented in the hiring of employees from under-represented groups and the support to the area of people management. In addition, women leaders are more likely to be allies of women of color and educate themselves on the challenges they face, as well as speak out against discrimination and mentor them.

Undoubtedly, these kind of measures and care improves the well-being of many people and directly contributes to "engagement", a value that has been diminished during all these months working from home with little interaction with our colleagues and managers. However, McKinsey adds that relatively few companies formally recognise employees who go beyond their responsibilities and contribute in this crucial role.

Therefore, for those women who occupy leadership positions should pay more attention to this type of practice and generate instances of formal valuation of this extraordinary work.

Regarding the second point, I could write another column, but my invitation is that we draw our goal before we leave, draw where we are today and find out where we want to go. Let's design our happiness formula, with all its components, and follow that path. This will undoubtedly lead to more of us showing up, not just doing the "ant" work, but developing our political skills and further developing ourselves as leaders. In this way, we will respect our limits and the very career we have forged. After so much effort of studying and working, we cannot leave our professional vocation to chance or to the vagaries of circumstances. Whether we like it or not, it’s part of our happiness formula, since we decided to study to be professionals.

Women in the Workplace is a study on working women in the USA. Between 2015 and 2021, more than 750 companies participated in the study and more than a quarter of a million people were surveyed about their workplace experiences. This year, information was collected from 423 companies and more than 65,000 employees were surveyed.