The One Thing Your Company Can Do to Get Better Financial Results by Advancing Women

Slowly, the dots are being connected.  Study by study, analysis by analysis, we’re figuring out what it takes to get women to to the top.

The latest in the string of revelations is that confidence is built when skills training is put into action. A new report from DDI and the Conference Board correlates corporate financial performance with higher proportion of women leaders and women high-potentials.

The top 20% performers in the study’s sample of global companies counted women as 37% of all leaders, and as 12% of all high potentials. But at the bottom-performing 20%, women accounted for 19% of all leaders and 8% of all high potentials.

One of the key factors:  leadership development programs don’t exist in a vacuum at the top-performing companies. Instead, programs are blended with real-life experience. It’s boots-on-the-ground experience that turns book knowledge to financial results.

Programs that make that link drive real results. That’s how accounting firm Rothstein Kass captured $6.5 million in top line revenue growth from its Rainmakers Roundtable program, designed by Melissa McClenaghan Martin of M3.

Mentoring and sponsorship are important, but it’s results that deliver direct return on advancing women. Skills training, put into action – and yes, that means taking calculated risks as women (and men) stride into new territory – might be the final missing link.