Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society – it is the glue that holds them together.

FEMALE FACTOR IN SOCIETY AND BUSINESS


The inclusive mindset
The female factor is influencing fresh approaches to collaborating and creating value, at the same time as business is recognising the 21th-century imperative to observe a social capital focus. As the World Bank noted: “Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society – it is the glue that holds them together.” The inclusive mindset of women is more oriented toward the greater good of society, rather than individual gain. This ‘whole brain’ approach goes hand in hand with the idea of a collaborative leadership model where our cultural environment is increasingly made up of dynamic social ‘live networks’.

Collective value
This collective value is now being recognised as a measure of companies’ worth as investment vehicles – but there is also increasing evidence that the female factor may be the vital catalyst to deliver both economic prosperity and social cohesion. With many organisations looking hard for capable talent to tackle the big challenges ahead, it is worth being reminded that Harvard research has shown that female leaders score highly on delivering better bottom lines. More importantly, their approach also strongly correlates to other key measures of organisational performance, including increased transparency, innovation, wellbeing and community engagement.

PEOPLE AND SOCIAL CAPITAL

Balanced gender culture
Not only are women increasingly willing and able to play a major leadership role, but there are now more female graduates than male in Europe. According to Goldman Sachs, “closing the gender gap can drive long-term economic growth – pushing income per capita 14% higher than baseline projections by 2020, and as much as 20% higher by 2030”. Nurturing a balanced gender culture to inspire the best in people in terms of contribution, innovation and loyalty – while ensuring optimal conditions for their individual happiness – is vital to the future success of our society.

Desire for meaning
The growth in participatory culture, as seen in crowdsourcing, sharing, volunteering and affinity networks, is the positive measure of people’s desire for meaning and their aspiration to ‘give back’ and ‘be better together’. Brands that understand how to leverage the Female Factor to connect and collaborate will thrive. This will be an altogether more human-centred approach based on ‘real’ relationships, where bricks and mortar retail may well become a vehicle to bring people and communities together in positive experiences – with online retail doing the actual sale.

SOURCES
* Measuring Social Capital: An Integrated Questionnaire – World Bank Working Paper no.18, 2004
* Global Economic Prospects – World Bank report 2011
* Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach – Martha C. Nussbaum, Harvard University Press 2011
* Are Women better Leaders than Men? – Harvard Business Review 2012
* Women Hold Up Half the Sky – Global Economics Paper No: 164, Goldman Sachs 2008

BOOK CONTRIBUTION EXCERP
THERE’S A FUTURE: Visions for a Better World 2030+ published by BBVA OpenMind Books free download >> 

IMAGES
* Musée d’Orsay Paris
by Harald Brekke
* Kjaer Global workshop by Harald Brekke
* Hair of the dog by Kjaer Global

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Protected: Intro to Swiss Life Beyond 2018 Futures Workshop