Research shows gender-balanced leadership teams tend to drive greater results, noted Lori Frasier, senior vice president of strategy and performance management at Key Equipment Finance, in a recent podcast interview with Jon Fales of The Alta Group Podcast.
"So what company wouldn't want greater results?" Frasier said.
In the 16-minute podcast interview, Frasier went on to describe efforts to increase the involvement of women in the leasing industry and data that support why it is so important to the future of the profession.
"Companies that have more balanced teams in their leadership ranks as well a their boards tend to have greater returns, greater financial success, so I think raising awareness around that is the first step," she said. "It's like they say, the first step is just admitting you have a problem."
That problem: not enough women in the leasing and finance industry. So when Frasier joined the board of directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) in 2016, she decided to add her leadership on the subject. A working group was established to raise awareness and determine ways to address the imbalance, which is found not only in this market niche, but in financial services generally.
For example, a new association task group will be looking for ways to specifically welcome women at the annual convention in October, which has counted just 10% women attendees. One of the committee's goals is to increase convention attendance by women to 20 percent by 2020 (#20by2020).
"Having an opporutnity to have women just feel more welcome and more a part of things when they attend ELFA events is another opportunity for us," Frasier said. "The structure and the events that go on at convention are long standing traditions, but let's face it, a lot of those traditions have been built by men for men in the past. What do we do to shake that up a little bit so women can be more a part of things."
This year at the Women in Leasing reception during the convention, Frasier expects to see more ELFA leaders. A strategic planning meeting after the convention will focus on a 3-5 year strategy focused on both near-term and event-driving opportunites.
"Longer term, what can we do to really influence this issue in a more meaningful way?" she says. "Certainly what we'd like to see is leadership teams be more representative of balanced teams and have more women on them. So we're going to be putting some thought into that."
Listen to the full podcast here and subscribe for alerts on new posts. See a related article on women in leasing here.