8th March

Why Female Leadership Matters

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8th March

Why Female Leadership Matters

When looking back at the history of the global economy, it is easy to see the immense barriers that women have faced and overcome. Women’s day is an opportunity to celebrate these great strides and shed further light on the valuable contribution that women bring to the table.

When examining the corporate environment, it is clear that while year-on-year advances are undeniable, there remains a clear imbalance in the gender representation of those in leadership positions. In fact, women still represent just 8.1% (41) of the Fortune 500 CEOs in 2021[1].

This pressure for balanced representation has given rise to extensive research, conducted to further examine the benefits of the skillsets that are particular to women.


Diversity matters

Diversity is as straightforward as it gets. It’s clearly a reason to include more women in leadership and is incredibly powerful. When women are meaningfully represented at board level, key management decisions and policy creation are more likely to be representative and considerate of diverse views. This point is of course not limited to gender diversity.


Never underestimate the value of soft skills

Professionalism, networking, collaboration and communication are all essential leadership abilities that can be linked to emotional intelligence (also referred to as soft skills or interpersonal skills) and studies are now showing how, as a general rule, women tend to be stronger in this area.

In a recent international study by Korn Ferry, analysing data from 55,000 professionals across 90 countries, women were seen to outperform men in 11 of 12 key emotional intelligence competencies[2]. Studies like these demonstrate the benefits of providing resources to nurture female leaders and provide them with opportunities to develop these key skills, become more effective leaders and boost their organisation’s performance. This research further highlights the fact that leaders with strong emotional intelligence are more likely to have a higher employee retention rate.


Effective communication goes a long way

The same study by Korn Ferry highlights how women are 86% more likely to be emotionally self-aware and 45% more likely to be seen to demonstrate empathy. Other competencies in which women were seen to outperform men include coaching and mentoring, influence, conflict management, teamwork, and adaptability. The value that women bring to any team evidently cannot be overstated.


Trust is key

Research conducted by the Pew Research Center in the United States on perceptions of women and leadership found that 34% of respondents believed that women are better at ‘being honest and ethical’, while only 3% believed men are better in this regard (64% seeing no difference). Respondents also believed that women are more likely to provide ‘fair pay / benefits’ with a score of 30% vs 5% for men [3].  While there is no doubt that on a practical basis trust varies from person to person depending on their individual personal values, this research demonstrates that generally, women are more likely to be trusted than their male counterparts.


Follow the money

If the above reasons are not strong enough to convince us all of the intrinsic value of female leadership, study after study suggests that organisations with women in C-level positions are actually more profitable.

A report by Credit Suisse Research Institute, for example, examined its database of over 3,000 companies and 28,000 senior managers across 40 countries. Here it was observed that companies with higher female participation at board level / top management exhibit higher returns, higher valuations, and higher pay-out ratios.[4]


To summarise

“Encouraging gender diversity in your leadership pool means greater diversity of thought, which, in turn, leads to improved problem solving and greater business benefits.”-  Global Leadership Forecast 2014–2015 [5]

At ARQ Group, encouraging and investing in the development of all employees whatever their background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical condition, colour or race is a core value. We are extremely proud to have women heading our service lines, including Ramona Galea as our Head of Operations and Human Resources, Martina Mifsud as our Head of Risk and Compliance (Advisory) and Dr Denia Ellul who has recently taken on the role of director of ARQ Advisory Ltd, ARQ Corporate Ltd as well as ARQ Fiduciaries Ltd.

We are committed to nurturing and empowering our employees by challenging traditional ideologies surrounding women in the workplace and paving the way for the next generation of professionals.



[1] https://fortune.com/2021/06/02/female-ceos-fortune-500-2021-women-ceo-list-roz-brewer-walgreens-karen-lynch-cvs-thasunda-brown-duckett-tiaa/

[2] https://www.kornferry.com/about-us//press/new-research-shows-women-are-better-at-using-soft-skills-crucial-for-effective-leadership

[3] https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2015/01/14/women-and-leadership/

[4] https://www.credit-suisse.com/about-us-news/en/articles/media-releases/42376-201409.html

[5] https://media.ddiworld.com/research/global-leadership-forecast-2014-2015_tr_ddi.pdf


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