By Linnea Gregg / The Intelligent Optimist

Having a higher proportion of women and millennials in leadership positions is a lucrative business structure.

Corporate Growth - If your business isn’t growing as quickly or dramatically as you’d like it to, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate who should receive the next promotion. A recent study reveals that those we do not stereotypically see in positions of power are actually the ones who should be given those responsibilities. According to Development Dimensions International (DDI), a major talent management company centered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the presence of women and millennials in leadership positions is directly connected to the financial success of a company.

Of the organizations DDI studied, the ones that displayed the highest amount of growth had millennials in 30 percent of their leadership positions. Companies in the top 20 percent for financial performance had 37 percent of their leadership positions filled by women. Businesses ranking toward the bottom for financial performance had women in only 19 percent of the leadership roles.

One of the main reasons for these statistics is “greater diversity of thought.” When people from unique backgrounds encounter the same problem, they will each have individual approaches to finding a solution. Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, and gen xers, born between 1965 and 1981, were raised with differing views on both business and technology. The varied strengths that both groups bring to the table results in, as DDI puts it, “improved problem solving and greater business benefits.” The product from these contrasting viewpoints and abilities creates new and better ways for the company to function, grow, and profit.

The study shows that while women are ahead in areas such as having an updated development plan, men are more likely to have led people in different countries and completed international assignments. In short, men have been given more opportunities to lead in visible ways, meaning that women have had fewer shots at bigger promotions. But when these opportunities do arise for women, they prove themselves to be just as able at generating profit as their male counterparts.

At the same time, working behind the scenes has allowed female leaders to grow in vital ways. According to another study by DDI, the most important skills a leader should have is an ability to coach others, manage change, and encourage employee creativity and innovation. Areas that women have had the opportunity to focus on and advance in.

Moving forward, it seems that the best thing that companies can do for their own financial benefit is to reconsider their approach to how they fill leadership positions. Having women and young adults in leading roles in companies will drive growth and profit.

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