Women currently make 79 cents on the dollar compared to men in The United States. Somewhere in the ballpark of 24% of men hold managerial authority, compared to only 16% of women.
So what? Who cares? Deal with it.
Guess what? We are dealing with it. Women are kicking @$$ in the workplace around the globe. You're welcome. But, the world is missing out on some serious benefits. Having women in charge comes with ample short and long-term rewards, and it's been proven time and again. Here are eight cool things that happen when women assume positions of power. Spoiler alert: equality means better quality for all.
1. . Dolla Dolla Billz Y’Aall
The single income household is a rare thing these days. When women have access to jobs, and not just any job but good jobs, overall poverty rates fall dramatically.
A recent study by the United Nations concluded that if women had the same access to employment as men, poverty would shrink between one and 14 percentage points in the countries of Latin America. Not only that, The Global Leadership Forecast found that companies in the top 20% for financial growth had almost twice as many women in leadership roles, as well as more high-potential women holding those roles. Make it rain, ladies.
2. . More Attention Goes To Local and Community Politics
Women who set policy tend to be more aware of the rights of women and children, which increases equality overall and leads to a higher quality of life for everyone involved. According to Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, “it is not about men against women, but there is evidence to show through research that when you have more women in public decision-making, you get policies that benefit women, children and families in general.” Women also tend to pay more attention to local policies and community interests.
3. . Everyone Grows Up Dreaming Big
In communities where women hold positions of power, women tend to stay in school longer, marry later, and get better jobs due to a phenomenon called “the role model effect.” When India passed a law in 1993 stating that a third of all seats on local government councils must be held by women, the status of women rose across the board, particularly for those in the “untouchable” class. It’s easier to believe you can do it when you grow up seeing examples of how it’s already being done.
4. . People Stop Monkeying Around and Play Nice
Primatologist Richard Wrangham observed a group of baboons in eastern Africa who, due to a tuberculosis outbreak, suddenly lost the majority of their alpha male population. Soon, the baboons, known for their violent patriarchy, adopted a more peaceful, cooperative and significantly less rigid hierarchy.
5. . Corruption Goes Down Overall
Police forces in both Mexico and Peru have intentionally flooded their police forces (fine… it’s mostly traffic cops) with women, believing them to be less susceptible to bribery and corruption overall. And guess what? So far, they’re freakin right. The female transit officers have an 86% approval rate in Peru, and studies in the late 90’s commissioned by the World Bank and other international organizations found that female police officers were more “honest, disciplined, hardworking, and trustworthy than their male counterparts.” Commander Pedro Montoya, who was then training an all-female motorcycle brigade, said it was “undeniable” that women were more honest.
6. . People Get To Sleep In
Often, women shy away from managerial positions, fearing that added responsibility will conflict with their familial duties. One company in China changed their start time to 10am so that women could see their kids off to school in the mornings before heading to work. Flexible schedules benefit everyone, including those who may not be morning people.
The more family-friendly your schedules, the higher participation rates in the workforce grow. And higher participation in the workforce means more money and less poverty for all.
7. . Equality Raises Women Up Without Bringing Men Down
When we see the pay gap decrease, what we are seeing is a mutual rise to the top rather than a melding to the middle. When women learn to dream big, men do not learn how to dream small. We can be bigger than the sum of our parts. There are no fixed number of winners while everyone else gets left in the dust. In the developing world, little girls don’t take the place of little boys in school. Rather, they join them in the ascent to a more fruitful society for all.