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If You Want Gender Balance, Get Busy with the Business Case

How to make gender balance your key competitive advantage.

It’s no news that the business case for gender balance is strong. No longer just a diversity metric, social justice must-have, or ‘women’s issue’, truly visionary leaders are positioning gender balance as a competitive strategy. The data makes this easy to do:

  • A study cited here by Ernst and Young notes that gender-diverse teams are 75% more likely to get innovative ideas to market

  • This MSCI ESG Research report indicates that firms low in female board members had 24% more governance controversies than those with greater gender balance

  • McKinsey reports that companies with greater gender balance on boards are 27% more likely to create longer-term customer value

  • The World Economic Forum reports that the larger your gender gap index, the lower your national competitive capability

And the list goes on and on.

The tricky bit is, though, that we have collectively long confused legal equality with sameness—5 pink M&Ms and 5 blue M&Ms does not a gender-balanced team make. We can’t check-box our way into high-impact business outcomes; we need to harness the leadership traits and qualities of both genders in order to get to those big business impacts.


Women and men do lead differently. There are considerable areas of overlap, certainly, but when we can really see and value those areas of difference, that’s where we begin to see results like those cited above. We begin to see 100% Capacity leadership. Being able to leverage the full capacity of an organization’s leadership can be a key sustainable competitive advantage for the companies that are wise enough to fine-tune their approach to gender balance.


Wondering where to begin? Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we release a series on building your business case for gender balance in order to get to that sweet bottom-line value. In the meantime, you can learn more about the massive opportunity for business growth that 100% Capacity leadership provides by downloading our free white paper.


Jennifer speaks, writes, and delivers transformational programs globally to companies seeking to realize the corporate performance value of gender-balanced leadership.


This blog is adapted from an article written by Jennifer Kenny, found here in its original publication.

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