Do you want to innovate? Then you want more women

Most organisations understand that the future story of their success will depend on their ability to innovate.

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Given the fast pace of the advance of technology, the shrinking distances between us, the ever-changing marketplace and consumer appetites, the companies that will survive and thrive in the future are those that can leverage their greatest talents and harness new ideas, thoughts and actions.

Cue in women.

According to a 2017 briefing by the UK Women’s Budget Group , in social housing, women make up the biggest part of the user base: 57% of all social tenancies name women as their “housing reference point”, 63% of adults in households claiming housing benefit are women, and women spend on average 55% of household income on rent compared with 36% for men.

Women have also been shown to be the source of innovation and ideas.

Women understand the needs of the female end-user (and hence can help create new campaigns, products and services).

Given the opportunity, women will use their diverse experiences and understanding to conceive novel ideas and processes to address existing social housing challenges as well as help organisations position themselves for the ever-changing future.

So, not only do women hold a high stake in the social housing agenda, they also hold the key to unlocking its future.

How can organisations make the most of the women already employed by them?

Foster a culture that values input with inclusive leadership.

For women to participate fully, they must feel welcome to do so.

Leaders who wish to leverage all the talent available to them must create an environment in which ideas are welcome and where women have a genuine opportunity to speak their minds and share their authentic insights.

Inclusive leaders create a workplace environment that invites women to contribute fully and authentically, giving them a sense of value, inspiring them to create in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Leaders who are willing to openly listen to women’s insights are almost 90% more likely to unleash women’s innovative potential.

And those who are willing to change their direction on the basis of input from women are twice as likely to tap into winning ideas.

Inclusive leaders, therefore, stand to harness the benefits of such contributions for the good of the individual, the team and the organisation.

So the path to a more successful future is relatively clear.

Start with self-awareness and an understanding of what your organisation could be doing that it isn’t and then take the necessary action.

Disruptive ideas is where the future of successful organisations will come from and women are a key catalyst to generating them.

What ideas do you have to make your organisation more receptive towards input from women and more open to change for everyone?