Diverse, Fempreneurial Leadership


What is the most important driver of innovation? Mixed teams.

What happens when you forget about diversity, inclusion and belonging in the innovation process? You give away enormous revenue potential.

This is where WeCoCo.io comes in: Small changes = big impact.

by Patrycja Pielaszek, MA

Large corporations have been focusing on diversity management for decades. We know how important DEIB (Diversity-Equality-Inclusion-Belonging) is. Various studies have proven the added value for companies. The conclusion? Companies that emphasize DEIB are more successful, more profitable, and more innovative.

Of course, not not all aspects of diversity have the same importance when it comes to positively influencing the innovative strength of a company. The four dimensions of diversity that have innovation-enhancing effects in a company are industry, country of origin, career path, and gender. Diversity in age and education, interestingly, have no demonstrable impact.

The second key aspect is inclusion. This is because diversity alone does not mean that all members of a company or team have the same opportunities. Inclusion means creating an environment in which all types of people can be successful. And this requires the appropriate awareness.

The third key aspect is belonging. It has become increasingly complex – yet it’s critical to company success. The numbers show why: Organizations with strong cultures of belonging boast higher performance and lower employee turnover. According to Forbes, companies with strong cultures have seen a 4x increase in revenue growth.

“Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard.”

Liz Fosslien

Diversity and inclusion not only create a better society — they also create better business results and fair opportunities for employees, families, communities and businesses. That’s why I am committed to create inclusive cultures of respect and equal opportunity for people with different backgrounds, beliefs and experiences, and why I developed 10 Diversity Hacks.

Change is possible, but what are the necessary ingredients? From my experience, it’s about awareness, curiosity, joy of exploration, and a sense of belonging.

The possibilities are endless, but one thing is clear: Those who already consistently invest in diversity and inclusion will be among the most innovative, sustainable and successful ones.

By taking on this shared responsibility, we can seize a tremendous opportunity to create more open and DEIB-enabling environments in which everyone can reach their potential, especially by cultivating:

  • strong communications
  • transparency
  • radical inclusion
  • feeling of belonging
  • space for dialogues which are different to experience the energy and magic by co-creating something better, something unique together
  • …and ultimately create more passionate collaborators

To me, this is what “fempreneurial” leadership is all about!

And this is how I started a movement, a movement that is based on connection and collaboration. By connecting disruptors, action takers, and game-changers to empower more women in innovation and entrepreneurship, our community has been flourishing naturally – a community driven by women, and open for all.

This community is called WeCoCo – where we connect and where we collaborate. WeCoCo became a catalyst for change to co-create a more inclusive future for all, but specifically for women.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), women innovating, inventing, and creating face constant factors that impede their activities.

According to We-Data, women represent on average 1/4 of new business owners and directors, while men represent the remaining 3/4 of new business owners and directors. The rates of female participation as sole proprietors are slightly higher.

WeCoCo is a catalyst for change connecting disruptors, action takers and game changers for inclusion and innovation.

How do fempreneurial leaders differently? In my experience and research:

  • They are strong communicators and good communication skills lead to high-performing teams and projects. Communication is also essential for setting boundaries and expectations.
  • They are empathic, and empathy allows leaders to build and nurture relationships with their teams. It also helps women in leadership understand what their employees need to improve their productivity and feel appreciated.
  • The way they tackle crisis situations because organizational changes require flexibility and critical thinking.
  • The way they value work-life balance—Many fempreneurial leaders balance kids and families with their professional lives. Therefore, they know how to multitask and set priorities, and they encourage their employees to do the same.

Imagine bringing more fempreneurial leadership to more organizations. What kind of impact would that have – by connecting, collaborating and co-creating a more inclusive future?!

This can all happen by making conscious decisions to improve and to change.

Giving someone a sense of inclusion and belonging is not a doctrine, nor is it rocket science. It is something we can influence with our mindset.

Patrycja Pielaszek

About the author

Patrycja Pielaszek is a forward-thinking innovation leader, serial entrepreneur and founder of WeCoCo, a catalyst for change to co-create a more inclusive future by connecting disruptors, action takers and game changers.




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