Together, We Can Do Better

The role of women in top management and business ownership has evolved significantly.

I get a great sense of fulfillment in seeing that about 45 percent of Humacyte’s executive leaders are women—a statistic that would be foreign in the 1990’s. Although the number of women in C-suite and senior-management roles has increased in recent decades, there is still plenty of work to be done in encouraging the upward mobility of future female leaders.

And this work starts at the top. Companies must prioritize developing their female leaders by employing a strategy that utilizes a diverse set of internal programs to develop employees and continue to embrace women at the top. Additionally, they should facilitate this strategy by identifying and eliminating biases against recruiting women during the hiring process—gender should never enter the equation when making a hiring decision.

It is important to remember that D&I in the workplace is more than a gender issue. I strongly believe that organizations need to establish a culture that ensures there are opportunities in the workplace that are not just aimed at women, but ALL people, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, and religion. Most organizations know that diversity is a powerful driver of innovation, but they can’t expect diversity to happen by osmosis or chance. Company leaders must establish deliberate initiatives to seek out, embrace, and promote diverse voices.

Being a leader in a diverse world means one has to be willing to open her or his mind to different viewpoints, respect that all people are entitled to their own beliefs, and lead by example in celebrating our collective diversity.

I believe that every company has an obligation to create an environment where all employees are empowered to be their true, authentic selves, while also respecting that right for their colleagues. A company’s success and competiveness depends on the competency and creativity of those who lead and work in their organizations. The corporate world has made significant progress in achieving greater equality, but together, we can do better.