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IWD 2024: How women can drive innovation and change in business
Fri, 8th Mar 2024

As any business owner will tell you, the ability to adapt, innovate, and evolve is crucial to success. In a world that is constantly changing, however, this can be a tricky skill for leaders to master.

But what if I told you that the secret to driving innovation is simple? Hire more women.

This conversation goes far beyond the topic of gender diversity. To put it plainly, women in leadership can quite simply be better for business. Research shows that when women lead, it can improve profitability, performance, and productivity company-wide.

So what makes women so adept at catalysing innovation and change within organisations?

Elevating diverse voices

Women understand firsthand the challenges of being overlooked or undervalued in the workplace. This insight positions them as champions for diversity and inclusion, advocating for the recruitment of teams that represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. Research backs this up, showing that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

At NLA, we recognise the power of diverse teams in driving innovation. By embracing the perspectives and ideas that women bring to the table, we've strengthened our capacity for creativity and problem-solving. This commitment to diversity not only enhances our workplace culture but also positions us as a leader in innovation within the tech industry.

Leading with a higher EQ

One of the distinctive traits that women often bring to leadership roles is a higher emotional intelligence (EQ). Research suggests that women tend to excel in areas such as empathy, communication, and relationship-building, all of which are critical for fostering a positive workplace culture and driving organisational success. 

According to research, women outperform men in 11 of 12 key emotional intelligence competencies. With this in mind, prioritising women in managerial positions can have a profound impact on employee engagement, retention, and overall performance. By identifying and nurturing employees' strengths, you create an environment where individuals thrive, driving innovation and delivering exceptional results.

Implementing innovative technology

Women are increasingly shaping the landscape of the tech industry, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. As adept problem-solvers, they recognise the potential of emerging technologies to revolutionise business processes and enhance user experiences. In particular, these qualities allow women to excel in creating human-centric designs, ensuring that technology serves the needs of diverse audiences effectively.

This is why diversity is critical to driving innovation, particularly in technology roles. At NLA, we have found that improving the representation of women in key development teams can lead to groundbreaking initiatives. By harnessing the diverse perspectives of our team members, businesses can continue to push the boundaries of what's possible in technology.

Getting comfortable with change

Change is inevitable in today's fast-paced business environment, and women are adept at navigating its complexities. Research suggests that women excel when it comes to taking initiative, driving results, and maintaining resilience throughout hard times, making them invaluable assets in leadership roles. 

Embracing change is essential for staying competitive in the marketplace. By fostering a culture of adaptability and resilience, we empower our team members to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. Women in leadership roles play a pivotal role in inspiring others to embrace change, driving innovation and propelling our organisation towards success.

There is no doubt that women bring a wealth of unique perspectives, skills, and values to the business world, driving innovation and inspiring change. When we ensure that women's voices and potential are realised in the workplace, we create the potential for businesses to truly thrive.