The Next Wave is for Women


Recently Gallup investigated the question what gender has to do with the level of engagement in organizations. They found out, not to my surprise, that women managers were able to create more engagement in employees than their male counterparts. In unison with this finding, female managers themselves are more engaged than respective males.

What is striking here is that managers determine 70% of employees commitment level. So this influence is overwhelming. Yet, women are a minority when it comes to the amount of managers in executive positions.

Indeed, a recent survey by Grant Thornton International shows that globally  24% of the senior management in companies are women. Contrary to what you might expect, the number has not been rising. So there is a great paradox here: women are better managers but somehow they do not get promoted.

It is interesting to note that the most progressive region in these terms seem to be our Baltic neighbors:   Latvia (41%), Lithuania (39%) and Estonia (37%). Finland comes far behind (29%), but down at the bottom are USA (22%), Germany (14%) and Japan (9%).  The former is probably result of the tradition of women participation as well as the need to use best talents in those countries that had been just reborn.

I still vividly remember - while working on Allianz insurance company in Munich - how shocking it was to note that there were hardly any women in senior executive positions. In executive canteen of the company, for every 10-15 men you saw there was one woman. No women in the board of the company, altough the ultimate business Allianz is could be explained as business of care. And of course that is something what women know so much better than men. That simply showed me how terribly old-fashioned the company was.

In my everyday work, I encounter remarkable amount of people. My sense is that women tend to be much more insightful  in the dealing with future. And they suffer a lot of a kind of short-termism shown by men.

So there is a long way to go till we get this right. But I assume we are moving slowly forward with attitudes and given opportunities. Actually here Baltic countries as well as Russia and South-east Asian contries, like Indonesia (41%) or Philippines (40%)   are leading the way. The western Europe is remarkably conservative in this respect.

For the coming decades - for the sixth wave - women are going to rise from their underprivileged positions and that is a sign of hope for this world indeed.