Our previous blog has seen some successful and legendary examples of women executives and entrepreneurs leading the retail frontier globally and driving transformation. Their contribution, however, does not limit to strategic growth. Women have proved and demonstrated the highest capabilities of managing people relationships in retail and other sectors with finesse.
When it comes to human-centred soft skills such as communication, partnerships, social inclusion and empathy, women leaders have emerged the strongest.
Let us take a brief look into how prominent female executives and women worldwide are navigating critical people relationships.
Women leaders collaborate strategically to create partnerships
Muhtar Kent, Ex-Chairman of the Coco-Cola Company, in a HuffPost article, voiced his opinion that when women are placed in leadership roles, brands perform better. While there are many areas of improvement needed for better women representation, one constant factor has been different communities of women providing support to each other, a solid driving force of change.
Katya Labin, the founder of HeyMama, a successful initiative bringing working mom leaders and business executives together to collaborate and advocates that together they create a community where women understand one another and support each other's path to success.
Women leaders also tend to be better at partnerships and alliances in a business environment. According to a Forbes report, women represented a more vital listening ability than their male counterparts. A book called Being the Boss by Harvard University Professors Linda Hill and Kent Lineback outlines a couple of essential management traits for the workforce like collaboration, trustworthiness, and willingness to develop employees. All these qualities are demonstrated well by women.
Drive transparency to improve results
A Deloitte report examining the 2020 consumer states that "the easiest ways for companies to engage consumers is through their employees." How employees of a retail company connect to consumers plays a significant role and is an essential measure of their products' success. Reflective organisations today must drive open communication channels between employees and leaders that help create a culture of transparency.
According to a CSR journal report, a board made of 30% of women could boost profitability by 15% compared to companies with no women executives. A publication in the journal Science also talks about small groups' collective intelligence that increases if there were more women in the team. An increase in the number of women in leadership roles boosts a company's innovation capacity.
Bring in new perspectives to drive future growth
One of the most significant examples of successful female representation driving a company's growth can be observed in Myntra. Megha Ori - from being a senior product manager - has moved up the ladder by innovating and driving change in tech products. Being a woman leading a tech leadership role in a big retail firm, Megha emphasises a fair workplace's role in ensuring a seamless professional journey.
American retail company Williams-Sonoma Inc. led by CEO Laura J. Alber, had the highest proportion of women in leadership positions. The company witnessed a 13.3% return on assets and a 24.9% return on equity that year. Female leaders also tend to lead companies with solid ethics, better corporate governance structures and increasingly confront social issues firmly. The CSR report also indicates that women in leadership roles pro-actively take corrective steps towards environmental causes and work towards changing consumer demand.
The Empathy Factor : Catalyst to resolve grievances and complaints
The current ways of working call for a change in the working culture and leaders who are people-centric. Women in leadership roles have proven to be more empathetic, better at communicating and active listeners. Women employees show concern for their fellow female colleagues and their welfare and deliver positive social outcomes. Women in leadership positions tend to take responsible actions for their employee community's interest, invest their time in listening and solving their issues. Several reports and studies have proven that women have scored higher on pursuing self-development, showing integrity and resilience.
Making the business world a better place
As women leaders show the world new ways of leading with critical values like motivating others and encouraging peer development, they are driving the younger generation of women to drive change and make the business world a better place. Together, let's be the harbingers of change, help the retail world thrive, and women leaders thrive with it.