When Women Step Into Executive Roles, Attitudes Towards Risk Change

Studies over time have found that when women step into executive roles at a company (CEO, CFO, director, etc), the company will experience an increase in profitability – in one study that increase was 15%. On NPR’s Planet Money podcast The Indicator, this reality is explored with Professor Corinne Post, a professor of management at the Villanova School of Business. One of the interesting findings in Professor Post’s research was that “after women were appointed to top executive positions, two things happened. A management team’s tendency to take risks dropped by between 13 to 14%, and then their willingness to become more innovative – their openness to new ideas – that increased by about 10%.” To hear more about the research and a discussion on the topic, listen to “The Indicator” podcast.

Data Bias and Women

The article “The Shocking Ways Data Bias Makes Women ‘Irrelevant,’ and What We Can Do to Stop It” in Entrepreneur shares some starling information about how data specific to women is often not analyzed or even captured — from business to technology to medicine and other practical aspects of life. The article explains why this has become the standard and then shares advice on how we can work to reverse this reality in our personal and professional lives.

Avoiding the “Motherhood Penalty”

There is an ongoing stigma that once a woman becomes a mother, she will stop caring about her professional responsibilities and be a less valuable employee. Interestingly, the same rules don’t apply to men – in fact, while women see their earnings drop by 4% for each child they have, men’s incomes increase by 6% per child that they have.  So what can be done? This piece in GoBankingRates discusses the issue in greater detail and shares recommendations on how to avoid this penalty.

Syrian Women Leading In Refugee Communities

Unconventional times can create impactful change. Syrian women have begun to be elected as camp leaders in their Lebanese refugee communities. While these women would have been expected to stay at home in their native Syria, the turmoil caused by war has begun to shift some of these traditional norms. One of the female leaders who heads up camp of hundreds of refugees, Hind Al-Haad, stated,”Circumstances can either form obstacles or push [women] forward.” Learn more about these amazing women in this BBC piece.

Flexible Workplaces and Impact on Women

Woman working from home

This article from Politico entitled “You Are Mommy Tracked to the Billionth Degree” explores how the concept of the flexible workplace has been shifted due to the pandemic. Women, who were more likely than men to request flex/hybrid schedules in the past, used to face a penalty since they weren’t considered to be “real” members of the work team. But after 18+ months of many people working at least in part from home due to COVID restrictions, businesses are now re-evaluating how hybrid work my now be the future of a lot of white collar jobs. Whether or not there will still be a penalty for working remotely – or whether it will become a new norm – is yet to be seen.

Leadership Lessons From Women Who Competed in Tokyo Olympics

Olympic ring statue

This Fast Company article shared eight leadership lessons from the first gender balanced Olympic games to ever take place. In addition to the highly publicized lesson that Simone Biles demonstrated regarding mental health and self-care, female competitors from around the world also had their own lessons to share.

Items shared in the piece include shattering the concept that athletes have a limited age range (this year the youngest female Olympian was 12 and the oldest was 66) as well as the importance in speaking up and advocating for equal sponsorship support for women (specifically how decorated track star Allyson Felix took on Nike over their sponsorship and pay policies for pregnant athletes). Also mentioned were the Norwegian beach handball and German gymnastics teams who pushed back against female athlete uniform guidelines which seemed to put sexualization of athlete bodies ahead of function.

COVID’s Impact on Women’s Finances

Logo for NPR's Marketplace

Sallie Krawcheck, one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street from positions at Bank of America and Citigroup, is the CEO of Ellevest, a digital financial company for women that she co-founded in 2014. In this interview with NPR’s “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal, she shared thoughts on what the COVID pandemic has specifically meant for women’s personal finances.

According to Krawcheck, “if pay is what you bring in, wealth is what you have and keep.” Prior to COVID, women’s wealth was approximately 32 cents to a white man’s dollar – and only one penny if only considering Black women. In this discussion, Krawcheck mentions how this has only become more severe during the pandemic and also shares strategies to close the gender wealth gap.