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Women bring emotional intelligence to management boards, finds survey

A recent report has shown that a significant majority of executives feel that having more women in board positions can help bring greater emotional intelligence to the top table. Does this signal a growing acceptance of the business case for diversity in the workplace?

The research by women's business network Inspire and recruiter Harvey Nash found that 64 per cent of executives surveyed believe that women contribute a greater level of emotional intelligence through the display of qualities such as empathy, understanding and the ability to communicate effectively. An overwhelming majority - 92 per cent - also considered that women can bring welcome new perspectives to board-level decision making.

Overall, it's been a good year for women in top-table positions - these findings come on top of the announcement by FTSE 100 firms that the proportion of female directors had risen from 12 to 15.6 per cent over the past year. However, it's not just management boards that can benefit from a more diverse make-up. Having a more varied and diverse workforce at all levels of an organisation can help foster new ways of thinking and problem-solving, as well as enabling employers to target a more diverse range of customers. Moreover, a more diverse workforce can be key to boosting an organisation's ability to attract talent from a wider pool of candidates.

Acas has a network of specialist equality and diversity advisers who can examine your current policies and practices with you, recommend improvements, help put them in place and provide training. Acas experts can also assist with equal opportunities policies, recruitment systems, monitoring and targets, training programmes and how to deal with harassment.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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