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International Women’s Day 2022: how we can support women in the workplace

8 March 2022

Chitra Baskar

Chief Operating Officer and Global Head of Funds & Product

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Chitra Baskar

Chief Operating Officer and Global Head of Funds & Product

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A gender-diverse workplace brings many benefits. As part of IWD 2022, we explain why nurturing female leaders makes good business sense

Supporting women in the workplace should be at the forefront of every business leader’s mind.

The success of female colleagues is vital for many reasons – and can have far-reaching positive implications. Gender equality can boost a company’s financial performance, while increasing employee engagement and retention.

More than three-quarters (79%) of chief financial officers (CFOs) see gender diversity as crucial or important, according to our recent report, The Future Private Capital CFO: Unleashing potential in the ESG era.

As leader of a global team of 4,000 people, I will be celebrating International Women’s Day 2022 with my colleagues today, on 8 March. We will reflect on how to make the world a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place that nurtures female leadership.

Why women are crucial for business success

A study by the Centre for Creative Leadership, which questioned 745 business leaders and aspiring leaders, found organisations with a higher percentage of women were rated more favourably on issues such as job satisfaction, burnout and employee engagement.

The What Women Want – and Why You Want Women in the Workplace report also showed that participants with female bosses felt more supported and experienced less job-related burnout.

Working for an employer with a high percentage of women increases everyone’s chance of enjoying work, the study said. Choosing a job that fits well with other areas of life, or provides opportunities to ‘make a difference’, can also have a positive impact.

So having more women on the payroll makes your company a better place to work – for everyone.

Gender diversity matters to investors

We’re proud that women make up about 48% of the global headcount at Intertrust Group. According to LinkedIn Insights, we score higher than our immediate competitors in all our key markets on gender diversity.

Recruiting more women can enhance a business’s bottom line. The Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on boards financially outperform those with the lowest female representation. Meanwhile, gender-diverse teams have higher sales and profits than male-dominated teams (Hoogendoorn, Oosterbeek, & Van Praag, 2013).

Our latest report also reveals the importance of gender diversity. Most CFOs see gender diversity as crucial or important in assessing potential investment opportunities, especially those in the UK or US. Less than 7% say it is no more than a consideration.

Investors are hungry for data on this. In the coming decade, about 60% of investors will expect live or daily data from companies about diversity and inclusion – which includes gender diversity – according to our research.

Supporting women – from line managers and HR managers to CEOs and CFOs – and nurturing female leaders clearly makes good business sense. It cannot be ignored.

How businesses can support women in the workplace

Men and women often want the same things from their jobs, but there are key differences.

Women require flexibility in where, when and how they work. They also want to work for organisations that help them find their calling and provide resources to take advantage of leadership opportunities.

According to the Centre for Creative Leadership’s report, three quarters of women are interested or extremely interested in being promoted, while 81% were interested or extremely interested in leadership development training.

Armed with knowledge of what women want from their careers, businesses can be proactive in attracting and retaining female talent. They should focus on hiring female leaders as well as developing female employees who can take leadership roles in future.

The good news is that firms that invest in women and increase their percentage of female staff will find it easier to attract and retain more women.

Women and leadership

My advice to all women leaders – and aspiring leaders – is to be grateful and empathetic.

Focus on your responsibilities for the day. Bear in mind how everyone on your team feels – their aspirations, hopes and fears.

You can show empathy in many ways. This can be as small as minimising distractions, such as chat windows or email, during virtual discussions with your staff, or as big as not jumping to conclusions when a problem arises.

Finally, when did you last say thank you? Your leadership position does not exist without your colleagues, so a heartfelt ‘thank you’ shows you appreciate that and earns you respect. Expressing gratitude can improve your own wellbeing and the recipient’s.

Why Intertrust Group?

  • Our 4,000 employees are dedicated to providing world-leading, specialised administration services in over 30 jurisdictions.
  • Our focus on bespoke fund, capital market and private wealth services enables you to invest, grow and thrive.
  • Intertrust Group is a publicly listed company with 70 years’ experience in providing world-class trust and corporate services to clients around the world.

How Intertrust Group is celebrating International Women’s Day 2022

  • We are encouraging colleagues to join the #BreaktheBias campaign for IWD 2022. This involves imagining a gender-equal world and calling out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping.
  • We’re committed to equal pay for equal work and in 2020, conducted our first gender pay gap analysis. We’re pleased to report there was no gap.
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