by Nanette Nelson, Envision board member
September 1, 2021
General Motors Co. is currently headed by a woman CEO and, as of March 2021, a majority of its board of directors is female. This year GM said it aims to convert nearly its entire vehicle lineup to electric by 2035.
Inclusive corporate cultures have a competitive edge, according to recent studies (see links below)—better products, sales growth and share performance. Innovation, enabling success in today’s fast-changing, disruption-filled competitive world, is the key characteristic of these inclusive companies. Companies with above-average gender diversity on their boards and top management are more likely to have these inclusive cultures. Women bring work styles that include enhanced communication skills, more empathy, less ego and more measured risk-taking.
Our August 2020 Economic Transformation Signals Team report called for a local university to collect and publish local statistics on women and minority membership on boards and in C-Suites of large, local, publicly owned employers & NGOs. Now, the new UW-Green Bay Institute for Women’s Leadership (Joy Ruzek, vice chancellor, division of continuing education; Sheryl Van Gruensven, chief business officer and chancellor for instructional strategy) is partnering with the UW-Green Bay Center for Public Affairs and the New North, Inc., to study local women in the workplace.
The study, which began in July 2021 with a widely distributed opinion poll of local working women, seeks “multidimensional data around work-life aspects affecting working women such as career development, career challenges, workplace equity and culture.” Specifically, the questions investigate support of families and leaders, workplace culture, networks, and opportunities for promotion. Center Director Dr. Lora Warner said “We hope to take the pulse of women in this area and use the data to advocate for change.”
Learn more here:
- Harvard Business Review, “Women Score Higher than Men in Most Leadership Skills”
- Boston Consulting Group, “How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation”