Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, calls women the ‘secret sauce’ for the success of his company. He is probably the only business leader to give women such an accolade in the corporate world. Today, the percentage of women in leadership positions is abysmal. Women currently hold just 22 (4.4%) of the CEO positions at S&P 500 companies which comprises of 500 large-cap companies that trade on American stock exchanges, and covers about 75 percent of the American equity market by capitalization.

It has been shown that organizations with more women in leadership roles do better on a wide range of criteria like innovation, performance and profit as compared to companies with fewer women leaders. According to a comprehensive 2014 study by DDI, a US-based talent management consultancy, the companies that perform best financially have the greatest numbers of women in leadership roles.

While studies continue to support the positive impact of having more women in leadership positions, the reality is that women still don’t get the same opportunities as men when it comes to their careers. Many of the current women’s development programmes fail because they simply address the soft skills of mindset and confidence in women. However, successful business is led by people of experience with specific business skills coupled with the right mindset.

The need of the hour is to develop women managers further through learning experiences, coaching and training that insure the results a corporation needs to obtain highly skilled women leaders.

Here’s why we need more women leaders in business.

1. Women, on average, are terrific communicators and tend to be better at it than men. It’s the information age and it’s highly competitive. This means companies will need more skilled communicators involved in all aspects of business where good, clear communication is critical to generate revenue, control expense, manage top talent and build a loyal customer base.

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2. Global business will require expanding business networks. Women are natural networkers.

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3. Diverse viewpoints can result in better, more creative solutions to business issues. Both women and men are needed to address business issues effectively.

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4. Keeping a talented knowledge worker will require relationship strategies. Women instinctively care about building relationships which is why they tend to gravitate toward jobs where building relationships is a major component such as Marketing or HR.

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5. Increased competition will require the resources of creative thinkers to develop new products and services that meet the needs and desires of the marketplace. The talent pool of creative leaders is doubled when more women leaders are available.

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6. Rapid change in technologies requires more flexibility. Women have extensive multi-tasking abilities as evidenced by women who manage business and families at the same time.

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7. Half of the workers available today are women. Women in leadership roles can act as mentors to develop other potential women leaders just as executive men have done for years.

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