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Why Female Empowerment is Good for the World — and Good for Business

Originally published on medium.com

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, just about everyone agrees that female empowerment is good for society. The implications of sexual harassment and the mistreatment of women in the workplace go far beyond Hollywood and movie stars; half the population is impacted by the issue.

 

Even in our modern age, a significant percentage of working women have experienced some form of harassment in the workplace, and it is these issues the female empowerment movement is seeking to address. Empowering women to take charge of their lives is good for everyone, male and female.

 

Here, Denise Hamet, an expert in economic development, shares her insight on how female empowerment is also good for business:

 

Narrowing the gender gap and including women in the workforce can only boost the economy. Mercer released a report in 2016 that revealed women constitute just 35% of the average company’s workforce at the professional level or higher. If every country could narrow its gender gap, the world could add trillions of dollars to its annual gross domestic product by 2025.

 

Women bring a lot to the table for businesses. Studies have also shown that companies with a higher percentage of women in top management show greater returns for shareholders. Diversity has been shown to be linked with business performance, and companies with women in executive positions perform better than the market.

But, in order for women to rise in the ranks, we have to tackle the roadblocks that many women encounter. Women are consistently given fewer tasks and responsibilities of high importance that could lead to promotion. This leaves women stagnant in their positions without the same upward mobility as their male counterparts.

 

Although this is indeed a complex issue, we can move forward in simple ways. It is critical that all employees acknowledge that we all have unconscious gender biases, and we must gain a better understanding and control of our own assumptions. People can utilize a safe, professional setting to have conversations about how to navigate office culture and promote gender equality. Finding value and camaraderie as a team is immensely beneficial for everyone.

 

If the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March have taught us anything, it is that it has never been more important for women (and men) to speak out about the issues that concern them. Whether it is gender and pay equality, reproductive rights or the freedom to work and live free from sexual harassment, women need to take the lead in their own empowerment.

 

While some forward-looking entrepreneurs and progressive companies have built gender equality into their operations, there is still a long way to go. With the right attitude, though, there is nothing women cannot do. Women have already taken the lead in many aspects of their lives, from marching and lobbying politicians in Washington to creating their own businesses and brands.

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