What Makes Women Important in Solving Complex Challenges of Our Time?

Women are vital to progress and innovation in our interdependent human and non-human systems.

Photo by Hudson Hintze on Unsplash

Women are the glue that keeps things together, and they have natural leadership strengths to move us forward in this critical time in history. Equal representation is needed to be more productive, creative and to face the issues that affect us all.

Women are motivated by challenges. They seek continuous opportunities for learning and development, have a natural ability for emotional intelligence and finding shared values. Women look for how challenges affect everything and everyone around them. They integrate details and context into complex patterns, weighing all variables to solve problems with a holistic approach to create value for organizations, society, and our planet. Women see issues from a long term perspective while men focus on short term planning. We need both!

Women deliver results. Women are intuitive, resourceful, resilient, and can better handle ambiguity. Often, they can see what others don’t, an essential skill in decision making. Women are (obviously) not satisfied with the status quo and continually pursue excellence. They are prepared. Women get shit done because they must, and they aren’t afraid of taking on risks to find the root cause of an issue.

“The female brain has more nerve cables connecting the two brain hemispheres; the male brain is more compartmentalized, so sections operate more independently. Moreover, testosterone tends to focus one’s attention. Women’s lower levels of this hormone may contribute to their broader, more contextual view.” — Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D., biological anthropologist, senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, and a member of the Center For Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. From the book Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership.

Women are trusted role models. They share power, collaborate, and enjoy creating ecosystems. Women inspire others to achieve, develop others, and build relationships. Successful women leaders build teams around goals and values to ensure everyone is moving in the same direction.

Women improve financial performance. More than a decade of research has found that increasing female leadership on teams and boards lead to increased financial results. The Peterson Institute for International Economics found organizations that initially had no women in leadership, and who then increased this to 30%, saw an increase of 15% in their net revenue margin. Fortune 500 companies performed better on average in return on sales, return on equity and return on the investment.

Developing women leaders generates momentum and paves the way for more women leaders to follow in their footsteps. We are all on the transition team, and my goal is to coach women to help them recognize their value, enabling them to be more confident, take decisive actions, and expand their influence.

“The significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
— Albert Einstein

Diversity and equality, not only with women but with ALL people create the level of thinking needed to solve the complex challenges of our time.

Angela Wiggins is a leadership coach and founder of Earnest Journey, a practice committed to helping women lead with courage and influence change. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Angela was surrounded by women leaders creatively solving problems. This influence, along with a robust support system, was integral in her career path from designer to entrepreneur to leader to coach.