Women in Business

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Course: HRMG 5000 Managing Human Resources Term: Summer, 2011 Paper #1: Women in Business Student: Daphne Westerlaken – van Westen Contact information: daphne.van.westen@fluor.com University: Webster University Leiden Instructor: Arthur De La Loza

-2Abstract There is a direct correlation between corporate finance performance and women in leadership roles. The number of female college graduates and overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing. Therefore the pipeline of women has greatly increased and companies have to capitalize on this to ensure these companies are going to retain, attract and develop this pool of talent. An equal balance of qualified men and women can only be achievd when top management focus on what women want in their company, work-life balance, talent management and equal compensation. Therefore the performance of top management should be judged partly on their ability to groom and promote female talent.

-3Introduction The numbers of female college graduates and overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing. In order to ensure that companies continue to appeal to the best and the brightest men and women, companies need to promote the fact that there is equal access to opportunity for both genders. Catalyst, the leading nonprofit organization working globally with business to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business, has found that there is a direct correlation between corporate finance performance and women in leadership roles. Studies show a more equal balance of qualified men and women drives innovation, engagement and business success. This research paper will focus on the involvement of Human Resource Management to increase the number of women in leadership roles. What Women Want The majority of the women and especially Generation Y (born 1978 – 1994) are concerned about the impact of their life-work balance (e.g. family, child care) decision will have on their careers. BPW (Business and Professional Women’s) Foundation did research on this topic and found out that the most important employer characteristics for women are: 1. Opportunity for employees to self-manage 2. Emphasis on meeting goals, as opposed to how, when or where people do the work 3. Availability of and focus on career advancement opportunities Furthermore BPW found out that women are disconnected with employers when:

-41. Employees judge each other based on the number of hours worked and not results produced 2. Employees at the top have more freedom than employees at the bottom. The overall percentage of females in the workforce is increasing and the Generation Y women are the workforce for tomorrow. Because of this, women will ensure the long term business successes. Therefore corporations have to retain, attract and develop women by fulfilling their needs by a multipronged approach: 1. Organizational level: Examine and adjust the prevailing mind-set of inputs over outputs. An environment that rewards a person’s presence is not conducive for encouraging people to apply tools that might improve their performance. 2. Management level: Managers need to be coached in and held accountable for the ways in which their practices enable or limit the effectiveness of their direct reports. 3. Individual level: Each individual should be encourages to identify where and when they work best. Quotas & Regulation Currently women occupy is just 12% of the seats on the boards of large European companies. The European Union warns that if listed European businesses have not made significant progress in raising that percentage by next year March, the European Union will consider mandating that they do through measures such as boardroom measures gender-quotas of the kind already in place in France, Spain and Norway. The proportion of women occupy the seats on the board of the listed France’s companies is expected to hit 20% next year, up from 7% two years...
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