Interview with:France Dequilbec, International Talent Acquisition Director, CEO Worldwide, and Managing Director, Female Executive Search
Just as biodiversity creates a richer and more stable environment, achieving gender balance at the top executive level can provide a company with a significant competitive advantage. What’s more, diversity and complementary working relationships are key components to challenging traditional decision-making processes and adding value to a business.
According to Boston Consulting Group, companies founded or co-founded by women tend to perform better over time, generating 10 percent more revenue on average over a five-year period. For France Dequilbec, International Talent Acquisition Director at CEO Worldwide, this is a reflection of female C-suite executives’ tendency to show more professional courage and career focus than their male counterparts, as well as to be more transparent and loyal.
European CEO spoke to Dequilbec to learn more about the global executive gender imbalance and how businesses can help to address it.
How did starting your own company help you achieve success in a male-dominated business environment?
For me, creating a company was the key to finally realising my professional potential without having to constantly justify my opinion, my responsibilities and my salary. This was the best way for me to take control of my own destiny and demonstrate my leadership capabilities.
Female leaders can now demonstrate the value of diversity for the good of business and the global economy
That was not the end of the battle, though. There were many men who doubted my ability as a woman to act as a managing director and to run my own company. Consequently, there was no room for error and I had to continuously outperform my male colleagues. It was tough, but it was not impossible.
Why is it so important to achieve a better executive gender balance?
This is where the complementary nature between men and women comes into play. Although a woman may have a different approach to business than a man, her objectives to succeed are the same. In short: the form is different, but the base is identical. A woman is just as demanding as a man, if not more so. As I have realised over the course of my career, women tend to be in much less danger of being led by their egos than men. This can prove to be an important asset when running a business.
How can businesses address the current imbalance?
There is power in female leadership, and it is high time we break the taboo and emphasise the talent of women in business. This is why it was a natural and obvious step for us to launch our new Female Executive Search service, which seeks to promote and place female executives.
Female leaders now have a dedicated platform on which they can highlight their great professional track record. It is no longer possible to say that women are not capable, or that they cannot be identified for senior roles. Female leaders can now demonstrate the value of diversity for the good of business and the benefit of the global economy.
What are the benefits of using tools such as the Female Executive Search platform?
As an expert in international executive recruitment, CEO Worldwide offers Female Executive Search as a platform dedicated to driving boardroom equality. Its purpose is to connect recruiters with quality and vetted female executives, empowering women leaders and businesses that value female leadership.
I dedicate a big portion of my time every day to assisting our female candidates. Together, we challenge the way they introduce themselves in order to really demonstrate their professional capabilities. We don’t only promote female leaders; we also promote their professional competencies. Actions speak louder than words.
At CEO Worldwide, we are committed to promoting gender balance and diversity. It’s time for women to join our community and demonstrate their capabilities, and for everyone to support the advancement of female executives into senior positions.