Gender Equality refers to the equal visibility, empowerment and participation of both men and women in all spheres of public and private life. Gender Equality is women having the same equal conditions as men for realizing their rights and potential as well as to contribute to national, political, economic, social and cultural development and benefit equally from results. Gender Equality is at the heart of economic and social progress. It will involve changes in both women’s and men’s attitudes and behaviours regarding roles and responsibilities at home, in the workplace, in the community and in national, donor and international institutions. Women’s empowerment is central to achieving Gender Equality which is essential for human development and peace.

Having defined gender equality and its importance and focusing on not-for-profit organizations, women comprise the majority of the nonprofit workforce, while they are still a minority on boards. What is clear is that the current pool of talented women in the workforce with business skills, experience and education exceeds their levels of representation at the highest levels.  Sad when it’s the case with organizations that are supposed to be improving the lives of individuals and communities.

It’s been believed that there is a valuable link between gender diversity and board performance. Boards that appoint women would actually perform better than all-men boards. It’s been believed that increasing the number of women on board of directors would give not-for-profits an edge over the competition. Boards should be more diverse in representing women and minorities. Different values, personalities and skill sets aligned with the different genders would help lead to the adoption of different decision-making methods and leadership styles, which may have significant implications for board operations and function.

Theories suggest that the presence of female board members affects an organization’s operating results, primarily because female directors serve a strong supervisory function and are more sensitive to risk. Organizations with a higher ratio of female directors can effectively control board decisions and an organization’s operations, thus improving the efficiency of the organization’s performance.  Studies have proven that female leaders were found to be more empathetic and flexible, as well as stronger in interpersonal skills than their male counterparts.

Women should just join not-for-profit boards. Women will gain so much from serving on boards and not-for-profits have so much to gain from the experience of women.

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