Towards a more balanced management: Why including women into management decisions can make your company strive

Did you ever consider that by not inviting women to participate in your company and sharing their view of the world around us you might be ignoring needs and wants of half of your clients?

Half of the population and 60% of the university graduates are women. But when it comes to corporate world, women are outnumbered by men in leadership positions. Nearly 1 in 4 large listed companies in the EU still has no female representatives at board level. At the CEO level there are only 4,4% women (3 to 4% worldwide).

As stated in a research by European Commission, business world is dominated by men who predominately think women are less prepared to fight for their career and less interested in filling the responsible positions in the companies. As noted by Harvard Business Review, controversial women quotas make men feel they are being treated unfairly, while women are insulted at the idea of being perceived as getting promotions only because of their gender.

Gender in business world

Women and men have different management styles

A research about competences of women and men leaders by Zenger Folkman (2014), published by Business Insider, shows men score higher on "developing strategic perspective" and “technical or professional expertise”. And women, compared to men, excel at nurturing competencies (developing others, inspiring and motivating others, relationship building, collaboration and teamwork). That is why a balanced management (with both men and women sharing their voice) might be just what a company needs to excel.

The solution is therefore not promoting women per se, but rather balancing management. When it comes to organizational and financial success of the company, many researches from various countries show companies with a greater number of balanced management positions (represented equally by women and men) are more successful than those being led by men only. Building a gender-balanced organization, states Harvard Business Review, contributes to better performance, innovation and customer connections, but it also takes skill, determination and courage.

Perception of women and men in business

Powerful women leaders

Notable female leaders are extraordinary entrepreneurs who set an example to both genders. Clear vision, determination and team spirit are only some of the values that make them stand out and inspire generations of entrepreneurs.

Angela Merkel (the chancellor of Germany)

The 2nd most powerful person in the EU is set to become Europe's longest-serving elected female head of government. This exceptional leader is known for her pragmatism, which gives structure to her life and works well avoiding risk and chaos at all times. She always has a plan and knows well what her country wants. No wonder Germans call her "Mutti", which means "mom".

Hillary Clinton (US presidential candidate for 2008 and 2016 elections)

To her, resilience means recovering from hardships, misfortunes, career setbacks and difficult changes. She looks at challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Over the years, Clinton gained respect for her admirable ability to face adversity, fall down and get up. She is known to be a leader who never walks away from anything that's important to her.

Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors)

By far, Mary Barra holds the crown for being the highest ranked woman throughout the automotive industry. She is known for her perseverance. She believes no matter how difficult time is, there's always a way to survive. When GM and Chrysler were on the verge of bankruptcy in 2008, she had no single doubt that the company would recover and survive. Barra is also team-oriented, decisive and above all respectful to her team.

Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)

She formerly worked as a Chief of Staff for the US Secretary of Treasury and Google's VP of Global Online Sales and Operations. Now she is the COO of Facebook. She ranked 16th out of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She is a team player, believing team mentality is vital for all leaders. Since her early career she has been notably compassionate in her work and drawn by a desire to help people. She values ambition and personal fulfillment, keeps her eyes on big goals and never backs down because of fear or intimidation.

Ginni Rometty (CEO of IBM)

She’s been working at IBM since 1981. With hard work and perseverance, she is now the CEO and Chairwoman of the company. She is notable for her courage to take risks, her ability to motivate employees as well as her strong consideration that actions speak louder than words.

Presenting IEDC Alumni: Women Leaders

Promoting balanced management and stressing the importance of including women in managerial decisions, IEDC presents a special section, where renowned women leaders, who are also IEDC alumni, share their success stories. Enjoy reading and get inspired!

Have a story to share? Please feel free to contact us!


European Commission: Women and men in leadership positions in the European Union 2013. A review of the situation and recent Progress; available at

Harvard Business Review: It's time for a New Discussion on »Women in leadership« that will provide you with a view on gender equality; available at

Business Insider: Why Women are more Effective Leaders than Men – research that will provide you with information on difference between men and women leadership; available at

Forbes: The World's 100 Most Powerful Women; available at

The Guardian: Want to be a successful world leader? Do it the Angela Merkel way; available at

Forbes: Leadership Secrets Of Hillary Clinton; available at

Center for work life: Mary Barra’s Leadership; available at

Center for work life: Leadership Qualities of Sheryl Sandberg; available at

Center for work life: Leadership Qualities of Ginni Rometty; available at

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