Every month we’ll be posting a summary of research that has been done by TopFem members as part of the Leadership Programme (formerly known as the Talent Programme). This month the summary covers research done by Charlotte Leenders, Helene Ehling and Josephine Brakenhoff at Capgemini.
In order to facilitate Capgemini’s transition from gender diversity to gender vitality, TopFem has developed a company specific model based on targeted research within Capgemini as well as recent developments in this field. By determining the key areas for development within the Capgemini company and fusing these with existing methods known to improve gender vitality, TopFem has constructed a working model that will assist Capgemini in its progression towards gender vitality.
Recent studies have shown that an overall increase in company performance, including increased company profits, is recorded when diverse leadership styles are present in higher management, and in particular, when there is a more equal balance between male and female approaches. Top management teams with at least a 3:10 ratio between women and men are proven to be the most effective and score high on a wide variety of skill sets, including leadership, competency, innovation, vision and planning. At a time when all fields are rapidly developing, especially those fields related to technology and innovation, these forward thinking skills are proving to be a company’s most valued asset.
An essential element in gender vitality is the successful recruitment of a diverse and effective workforce. In order to obtain the desired diversity in leadership styles, it is the task of the recruitment team to accurately match the organisation’s vision with the visions of the potential employees. It almost goes without saying that the pitfalls associated with stereotyping should be avoided at all costs; the long term benefits of both masculine and feminine leadership styles and visions should be optimised without prejudice. Furthermore, in today’s competitive market, the power of social media as a networking tool should not be underestimated; the search for talented and successful female role models is central to the transition from gender diversity to gender vitality. The initial recruitment, the continued development and perhaps most importantly, the retention of women within the organisation are all key to the development and maintenance of the diverse and successful environment that Capgemini is striving for.
By conducting a study on the opinions of various Capgemini personnel TopFem revealed that the presence of successful female role models drastically affects the motivation of other women to “follow the example” set. Women within Capgemini stated that they are more willing to develop, succeed and remain with the company’s organisation if there is a proven record of equal opportunities and success. This retention of women within a organisation also effects the overall spread of women throughout all layers of that organisation and allows for the development of an internal mentoring program. An internal mentoring program can form a fundamental basis in the development of successful female leaders whereby, for example, a top manager is able to inspire and motivate both male and female staff juniors and serve as a guide to help with his or her career development.
Finally, all research indicates that in order for a company policy on gender diversity to succeed, the support of both top management and CEO’s is fundamental to its success. The individuals in these influential positions need to be both aware of the requirement for and need to promote gender diversity as well as actively support and commit to the ideals and policy in place. TopFem believes that once the significant benefits of a gender diverse workforce are both realised and accepted, this support will naturally follow suit.