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Jane Diplock: Encourage Women Leaders For Efficiency’s Sake

The former head of New Zealand’s SEC explains why putting women on boards isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also the bright thing to do. 

Big Think has partnered with PwC to bring you big ideas on the future of women in leadership. Register here for a live webcast presented by PwC on February 27th with Claire Shipman and “The Confidence Code” co-author Katty Kay.

Jane Diplock, the former chair of New Zealand’s SEC, is the focus of one of today’s featured Big Think interviews. In the video below, she examines the correlation between heightened productivity and having an equal number of women on a company board. Her basic argument can be summed up as such: Including women in leadership roles isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do:

“This productivity argument is moving people … even if they don’t even want a woman on their board, they don’t like women on their boards, they’ll understand that it perhaps is getting to the point where it should be their fiduciary duty to do that for the productivity of their enterprise and for the productivity of the nation.”

There’s something of a cynical tone in Diplock’s voice when she makes the above point. It comes right after she shares several figures promoting the idea that women leaders promote productivity. Even a misogynist, she explains, wouldn’t be able to deny the profitability that arises out of various forms of diversity.

It’s in this way that Diplock suggests women can move forward in their pursuit of an equal balance of leadership positions. If appeals to fairness or altruism fall on deaf ears, appeals to powerful men’s pocketbooks likely won’t.

This article is part of a series brought to you in partnership with PwC.

OFebruary 27th, PwC will host a live webcast on developing great women leaders with ABC News’s Claire Shipman and her “The Confidence Code” co-author Katty Kay. Register here for the webcast, and follow the conversation on Twitter: #PwCAspire. Big Think will be featuring more related videos and other content throughout the month.


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