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Change the Conversation: 3 Reasons Why We Need Women Leaders in Today’s Business Environment

Posted by Kathy Hamburger

Every day, as President of HGS USA, I appreciate our team’s commitment to customer service excellence, which starts with the question: How do we aspire to be the best we can be, as a global BPM provider, and One HGS? I’ve learned that the answer lies in a truly collective effort to deliver to the standards that our customers and partners expect today. The conversation about gender in the workplace can sometimes be focused on the destination and how to get there. And it’s not that this isn’t important. But I’d like to change the conversation by building on it, so we don’t forget the reasons why we need both women and men on a leadership team.

By now we know that empowered women, along with our men counterparts, bring unique strengths. Here’s my take on the three benefits of including women on a well-balanced, aligned, and diverse leadership team.

  1. Companies need to represent and understand their female customer demographic. Today’s socially responsible consumer looks for an optimized customer experience, led by an inclusive corporate team. Research shows that millennial customers increasingly want to give back and support those companies they believe have integrity and are socially responsible and diverse. And keep in mind that these same young adults also want to work for socially responsible companies.
  2. The smartest, most effective teams embrace diverse opinions and perspectives. Women bring a different point of view. The globalization of business calls for diverse resources and skill sets. Women leaders add this diversity, authenticity, and breadth of experience, for better collaboration and unification of a team.
  3. I have seen firsthand what the research also supports: Women leaders are often good multitaskers and adept at managing many different tasks and projects. They can be called on to juggle and prioritize different deadlines and decisions. It’s a balancing act that we see many women handle pretty well.

The net effect of all of the above? It’s an environment where everyone feels empowered. Because, at the end of the day, we have to deliver results, and better gender mix is linked to improved performance. In fact, organizations that are the most inclusive of women in top management achieve better total return to shareholders in comparison their peers, according to research. So, the message on this seems clear: We’re all in this together, and the payoff is worth it.

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MY ADVICE

Kathy Hamburger
President and CEO, HGS USA

I’ve had great mentors over the years—both women and men. Here are some of the leadership lessons they’ve shared.

  • Put your employees and customers first. I make sure I’m approachable and accessible, by staying in close communication with both team members and the customers we serve.
  • Hire the right team. It’s tried but true: you’re only as good as the people around you. The best leaders are surrounded by great talent. Lean on them for their expertise.
  • Believe in what you do and be passionate about it. I love people and the customer service aspect of our business. If you are truly invested in the job you do, it shows.
  • Have a support team in place. It’s critical to your success to have good people around you that enable your flexibility.

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