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The evolving role of women in the workforce

Posted on February 6th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

A new book by the Apollo Research Institute suggests women are playing a major role in the evolution of high growth industries. Company leaders and HR administration professionals should take note.

According to The Apollo Group, an educational program provider, women represent half of U.S. business owners and 57 percent of household breadwinners.

Women tend to outperform men in certain key leadership competencies, such as communication, coaching, organizing people, thinking creatively and solving problems. In addition, women exhibit higher levels of empathy, transparency and inclusiveness.

“Women leaders often stand out for their relationship-building skills,” said Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, the book’s lead editor. “But women also excel as negotiators, risk-takers and entrepreneurs.”

Instead of viewing their future in terms of a ladder of success, 58 percent of women surveyed by The Apollo Group said their career path is nonlinear and 87 percent of female executives and managers alter their career paths midlife.

Despite these positive trends, Forbes recently pointed out achieving a balance between work and life is still a major challenge for most professional women. Businesses are not offering the flexible scheduling and comprehensive benefits options, which is steering talented women with families out of the office, the magazine explains. 

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