I periodically update the research that forms the business case for gender balance at the leadership level. Here is my latest update. I review studies showing the business benefit of diversity and inclusion generally. Gender diversity brings all these benefits and more.
Warren Buffet has joined the conversation about the importance of having women, as well as men, in leadership positions in business. He stresses men’s self-interest in leveraging the talents of women. Business has done great using only 50% of the talent pool, with women essentially “on the shelf.” It will do better with the talents of 100% of the workforce.
Business has a “pyramid problem.” Women aren’t proportionally represented in upper levels. This isn’t just a problem for women. It imposes unnecessary costs on business and deprives them of significant upsides. The business case for gender diversity provides compelling reasons to fix this problem. What causes women to leave (or just stop climbing)? The causes are unconscious and invisible. Solution comes from recognizing that barriers for women arise from the “comfort principle” and from failure of leaders to appreciate masculine-feminine differences.