There is substantial evidence to support the theory that gender diversity at management level helps enhance a company’s performance. It could be said that this rings true no more so than for companies specialised in customer experience.
As women often perform better than their male counterparts when it comes to developing emotional connections, their influence can go a long way to gaining customer trust and, in turn, boosting business.
To coincide with International Women’s Day, we asked five female leaders in CX why it is we need more women in high-level customer-focused roles.
Here’s what they said:
Linda Kiely, Co-founder, Voxpro – powered by TELUS International
“CX is all about communication and understanding how your customer is feeling – what their pain points are, what satisfies them and what makes them tick. In order to find common ground with your customer, you need a certain level of emotional intelligence and, in my experience, women tend to have an edge over men when it comes to this attribute.
“Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many women who have worked tirelessly to humanise the brand and really connect with customers. Today, we are seeing more and more women in high-level CX roles and, given the results that many are achieving within major companies, I expect this trend to continue.”
Lupe Gonzalez – VP, Customer Experience – Headspace Inc.
“I’ve had both male and female leaders who were amazing, but with some of the best female leaders that I’ve had in the last 19 years in customer experience, one of the traits that I’ve noticed in most was an ability to be vulnerable and honest in their leadership. Through mentoring, through coaching, through guidance, there was always an ability to just be vulnerable and admit that, ‘Hey, maybe we don’t really know exactly what we’re going to end up doing to get to that place, but let’s work on that together’.
“Vulnerability in a leader allows them to really roll up their sleeves, to learn what you do as a teammate or to get into the weeds to get more familiarity or intimacy with a process. The women and female leaders that I’ve worked with in the past have most of the time had that trait, one that I think is really important, especially as you scale and especially with a product like Headspace where empathy and thoughtfulness is part of our content and brand.
“I also think that diversity in the workplace is really important for employee morale and success. It also helps provide insight into the needs and motivations of all of your customer base rather than just a small part of it.”
Daniela Illuminati, Dublin Site Lead, Voxpro – powered by TELUS International
“Time and again, studies have shown how female leaders tend to score higher than their male counterparts when it comes to the top competencies exemplified by great leaders. This is the case particularly for leaders in the CX space where attributes such as taking initiative, having a growth mindset and the ability to work collaboratively are paramount.
“In a world where CX is constantly evolving at great speed, underpinned by digital transformation and AI, a successful CX leader must be proactive and forward-thinking. They must possess a growth mindset, an openness to learn new competencies and embrace change.
“Female leaders generally outscore male leaders in their ability to collaborate effectively and constructively with cross-functional partners, which is crucial in a business world where CX is no longer a department, but something that touches all parts of an organisation.”
Adrienne Gormley, Head of EMEA and VP of Global Customer Experience, Dropbox
“Diversity is a key pillar of success in business, across every sector. As well as reflecting an organisation’s customer base, women bring a different perspective to the work environment, which enables a more balanced approach to decision-making.
“By having more female leaders, we can break down barriers and truly unlock the potential of women across the workforce.”
Tonichi Achurra-Parekh, Country Manager, Philippines, Voxpro – powered by TELUS International
“International Women’s Day for me isn’t just about celebrating women. It’s about celebrating diversity and equality. I was blessed to have been mentored by both men and women who believe in valuing the contributions of a person regardless of their gender.
“In my career, the women leaders in CX that I have looked up to have demonstrated strength in understanding where there is confusion, finding a solution where there is a problem, and showing empathy where there is frustration. For me, women leaders are extremely focused on taking care of the customer and also those taking care of the experience of the customer.
“For this year’s International Women’s Day, we should take a moment to appreciate not just women, but everyone who celebrates and supports women and diversity in the workplace – in CX and across all industries.”