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The Alternative Board Blog

Why More Female Business Owners Are Joining Boards

Jan. 10, 2019 | Posted by Phil Spensieri, TAB York Region
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It’s encouraging to see more women business owners joining boards. I’ve found that most women in management, specifically on boards, offer a different style of leadership and a fresh perspective, taking companies to a whole new level of decision-making. It’s wonderful to see so many women interested in assuming strong leadership roles on boards, and I’m excited to report that the numbers are growing.

The number of women who own businesses and operate at senior levels has increased by 114% over the past 20 years. This increase shows that there are more women who are willing to take on prominent leadership roles, which has ultimately contributed to the rise of their participation on boards. With stronger board diversity, more female leaders offer a welcome change of pace.

So, what exactly is attracting more women to the boardroom?

The following factors have contributed to the continuing rise of women on boards:

Fulfillment of diversity quotas

Yes, the fulfillment of a diversity quota may seem a bit trite, but it’s an important point to touch on. As the business world evolves, there’s a greater emphasis on the filling of diversity quotas. These quotas are in place to ensure that equal opportunity is given, regardless of gender or cultural background. Because of this, more women are stepping up to the challenge and putting themselves on the boardroom frontline.

Although there are many other reasons why women are taking on stronger leadership roles, this factor has opened the floor for further discussion towards a better gender balance in the boardroom.

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A different perspective

I’ve seen many women on our TAB Boards communicate their ideas and initiatives in a way that makes for a stronger, more connected dialogue amongst board members. In terms of leadership, I’ve found our female board members are not afraid of passion and drive. Their enthusiasm helps other board members to see business not just as a means to an end, but as a journey towards something infinitely more rewarding.

Ability to relate to a wider audience

A strong board needs to be one that reflects the community at large, in which people can feel free to provide input, as well as receive it. Often, women will stay in management roles longer due to family commitments, allowing them to gain a better understanding and offer input from a broader perspective.  Female board members’ experiences in achieving a work/life balance will often help them better understand the plight of employees, and in turn, offer that perspective to the board.

The presence of more women in leadership roles is an essential step towards equality and balance in the workforce. In a board setting, as well as in other management roles, women comprise a valuable demographic that offers unique perspectives and opportunities for expansion.

I’m looking forward to increasing the diversity on our TAB boards in 2019 by inviting more female entrepreneurs to our boards. Contact me if you’re interested in joining my TAB Board.

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Written by Phil Spensieri, TAB York Region

Phil Spensieri is a TAB Facilitator in the York Region of Ontario, Canada.

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