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Companies with more women leaders perform better

Businesses that feature more women in leadership roles do better financially, according to a major international survey.

The Global Leadership Forecast, which questioned more than 14,500 international leaders and HR executives, found that women held more than a third of leadership roles in the top 20 per cent best financially performing businesses.

By contrast, in the worst performing 20 per cent women were found on average to hold fewer than a fifth of available leadership roles.

'Encouraging gender diversity in your leadership pool means greater diversity of thought, which, in turn, leads to improved problem solving and greater business benefits,' the report said.

Leadership skills: gender differences

The report said that there were no significant differences between men and women when it came to leadership skills and ability to handle management and business challenges.

But it did uncover a disparity between the genders in confidence, with male leaders much more likely to label themselves as 'highly effective leaders'.

Women were also less likely to have completed international assignments, and lead international teams dispersed across countries.

This may go some way to explain the representation imbalance, because leaders with access to global and 'more visible leadership experiences' were 'far more likely to be promoted and to advance more quickly in their organisations', the report said.

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