What Causes Women to Thrive at Work?

New Study Reveals: Work That Matters, Not Perks or Vacation Time, Is What Inspires Women to Be At Their Best

BOSTON, Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Companies are stepping up their commitment to help their women employees thrive, but many have struggled to put it into practice. A new study has the solution. The Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership announced today survey findings about what women say causes them to thrive at work: It’s not vacations or perks, but making meaningful contributions.

In practice, what does thriving look like? A survey of participants from the Simmons Leadership Conference in March 2023, which included women in the age range of under 25 to over 75, defined thriving as making positive contributions, learning, and being valued and recognized. For managers, the study findings reveal the importance of delegating projects that have a significant impact, providing opportunities for formal and informal learning, and taking time to recognize women employees in the way that is most meaningful to them. 

How important is it for women to thrive? 96% of respondents said that thriving at work was extremely or very important. Additionally, 42% of respondents reported that they felt like they were thriving most of the time, and 49% felt that they were thriving some of the time. 81% of respondents say that their organization is committed to supporting their ability to thrive at work. Respondents of color are more likely than white respondents to say that thriving at work is extremely important.  

Why is thriving at work important to both the employees and the organization? For individuals, thriving at work makes them feel happier, and more confident, engaged, and inspired. According to the respondents, when they feel they are thriving at work, they are more productive, more likely to go “above and beyond,” and more effective. They also report being better positioned to do their best work. “This is a substantial finding. We know that women want to thrive at work and know what they need in order to do so. In addition, we know organizations WANT discretionary effort and high productivity. This is exciting and most importantly – very doable,” explains Susan MacKenty Brady, CEO of Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership.

What gets in the way? Participants identified an overwhelming workload as the number one issue preventing women from thriving in their careers. Respondents sent in feedback saying workload kills morale, depletes resources, and forces too many priorities with constant change. 

What is the secret for managers to inspire women to thrive at work? Managers can give women employees a sense of autonomy, making it safe for them to take risks, and provide opportunities to learn and develop. They can prioritize sustainable workloads and the ability to use paid time off. 

Individuals can promote their own thriving by building strong relationships and seeking out opportunities to learn and develop. 

“The Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership knows that when women are thriving, they can help others to thrive as well. We are committed to creating a collaborative environment where women from all backgrounds can do their best work,” emphasizes MacKenty Brady. 

To view complete results and discussion of the study, visit this link. To request an interview about the results with Elisa van Dam and Susan MacKenty Brady, please reach out to Rebecca Proulx (contact information below).

About Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership
Our mission is to develop the mindset and skills of leaders at all stages of life so they can foster gender parity and cultures of inclusion. We offer research-driven programming for individuals and leadership journeys for entire organizations. Learn more

About Elisa van Dam
ELISA VAN DAM is the Vice President for Allyship & Inclusion at the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership. 

Drawing on her expertise in gender equity and women’s leadership, Elisa creates innovative programming that develops the mindset and skills of leaders at all stages of life so they can foster gender parity and cultures of inclusion. Elisa is a co-author of The Inclusive Leader’s Playbook: The Work of the Inclusive Leader with Susan MacKenty Brady. She is a co-author of several publications, including The Importance of Belonging in the Workplace (February 2022) and The Importance of Authenticity in the Workplace (July 2021). 

About Susan MacKenty Brady
SUSAN MACKENTY BRADY is the founding CEO of The Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership where she holds the Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Chair for Women and Leadership. 

As an expert in driving accountability, she teaches leaders, executives and leadership teams how to create high-performing cultures fueled by respect and has keynoted or consulted at over 500 organizations around the world. Susan has previously published four books, the most recent as lead co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Arrive & Thrive: 7 Impactful Practices for Women Navigating Leadership (McGraw-Hill, April 2022), which debuted in April 2022 and landed on the bestseller list in the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today. Her media appearances include “Good Morning America” on ABC-TV, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and Inc. Magazine. 

About the Research:
362 participants from the Simmons Leadership Conference in March of 2023 completed our survey. Participants included women in the age range of under 25 to over 75. To create the definition of thriving, contributing a positive work impact was cited by 41% of participants, learning and development was cited by 28% of participants, and value and recognition was cited by 20% of participants. 

SOURCE Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/what-causes-women-to-thrive-at-work-301933525.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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