During these early days of the year of 2015, many of us ponder on what will be the major trends in the year ahead of us. One of them, is Sally Krawcheck, that published recently an article on Linkedin about what she considers to a be a big idea for 2015. Sally Krawcheck is an important influencer, that is best known has one of the most senior women on wall street. She is the former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of the Bank of America, and has been a spokesperson for the need of investing in women as a “smart business” idea. In her recent article she explores the idea of shaping a more inclusive capitalism that will allow more people to become more prosperous.
A More Inclusive Capitalism That Includes More Women
Capitalism has been with us for centuries and according to Krawcheck, to some degrees it works. However, there can be problems. Krawcheck hopes that we are on the edge of a change that will result in capitalism that is more prosperous for more people. The reason for that possibility of prosperity, is the emerging demographic shift. One aspect of this is that the Baby Boomer group is retiring. Another however, is that there are different people entering their place. These are, in Krawcheck’s view millennials and women. Optimistically perhaps, Krawcheck suggests that women are facing a situation where: “…after years of stalled professional progress, the momentum seems to be in their favour.”
This is occurring because there is a higher level of debate about women’s roles in society and the benefits of gender diversity. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, published in 2013 the important book Lean In, that analyzed how women could arrive more leading roles in society, In the USA the fact that Hillary Clinton may run for president is something of a driver and a symbol on how women are finally able to reach top power roles in society.
Krawcheck believes that this is encouraging women to see the power they have as a group. This is leading women to start networking in groups that support women, such as Women 2.0 and Ellevate, a group established by Krawcheck in 2014. Such groups assist women to work together to help one another progress. Krawcheck also argues that women are starting businesses at a faster rate than men and that technology’s progress is encouraging this. There are also suggestions made that women are finding that organisations are increasing their gender diversity efforts.
Gender Diversity In The Workplace
All of this draws Krawcheck to the conclusion that diversity in the workplace is helping people to think differently and place greater emphasis on different areas. This leads to a situation where so-called “inclusive capitalism” develops.
More economic participation from groups such as women leads to a growth economy. More participation in the economy leads to increased demand, and this is why. Krawcheck suggests that evidence shows that when there are an increased number of women in senior management roles this has the benefit of driving lower pay disparities between genders and it could have the benefit of decreasing the gender gap very significantly.
There are other benefits of these changes according to Krawcheck. One is driven by the fact that women are argued to have a greater level of risk awareness. This leads Krawcheck to draw the conclusion that financial markets will be less volatile with more women getting involved, as women would have taken fewer risks. While this is quite a jump, it is not possible to write the idea off, and it is a definite possibility.
Another potential benefit raised by Krawcheck is the fact that a greater diversity in the workforce has greater potential for achieving more in terms of innovation. That is because if people that are all the same brainstorm it has been shown that they may come up with similar ideas, while diverse people may come up with a greater level of diversity of ideas.
Other advantages for organisations include the ability for companies to perform better. If follows that if there is greater innovation and more diverse teams then there is also a greater chance for lower risk, a greater focus on the long term and higher returns on capital, as well as a stronger client focus, or at least, so argues Krawcheck.
In particular and considered to be of importance by many influencers now, is the notion that the generation of Millennials want to see greater meaning and purpose in their lives. Research shows that 79 percent of millennials want to work at an organisation that is socially responsible. Yet another change that Krawcheck believes will occur is the idea that investors that are women and millennials will be more likely to look for a fair return on their investments, as well as a reflection on their values.
This could have a significant impact on what is able to get investment and what is not in the longer term. Surprisingly Krawcheck believes that families will benefit from these changes, even though with more women in work there may be less children without a full time parent at home. However, it is believed by Krawcheck that this will be more likely to encourage flexible work programmes, and research shows that 60% of working women that have children would like this level of flexibility.
This in turn will have the benefit of transforming industries. People will work different hours to suit them and their customers. The “juggling act” that women have to undergo to get involved in the workplace becomes much easier to manage as a result. There are many aspects of this “big idea” that people have wanted for decades.
Hopefully 2015 is the year it becomes a reality.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.