Justin Trudeau on Promoting Women at Work: "It’s the Smartest Possible Thing to Do"

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Justin Trudeau on Promoting Women at Work: "It’s the Smartest Possible Thing to Do"
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"It’s the smartest possible thing to do."

By Suzannah Weiss. Photos: Getty Images.

Giving women an equal playing field in the workplace is worthwhile for its own sake, and we shouldn't need to prove it's beneficial to anyone other than the women themselves. But for those who insist on hearing a justification for gender equality, Justin Trudeau has a very compelling argument: It's good for business.

“When we start realizing that including women and promoting women into positions of power isn’t just the nice thing to do, it’s the smartest possible thing to do, you start connecting in more meaningful ways to the workplace,” he told Tina Brown at her Women in the World Summit Thursday.

Research backs him up. Companies with more women leading their boards have a higher return on equity, according to an MSCI study. Another Credit Suisse study found that firms with at least one woman on the board performed better in the stock market. People are also more likely to enter and stay at companies with diverse workforces, according to Cumulative Gallup Workplace Studies.

Plus, it's just basic logic that the more people whose voices are heard, the more ideas we'll get exposed to and benefit from. “When you think about the number of great ideas that get left on the table because women entrepreneurs or innovators don’t have the kind of access to capital that is given to men on startups, this something that will directly leave us less successful as a society if we don’t figure out how to empower and include women in every area,” Trudeau said.

He also reiterated something he's said before: that feminism is a men's issue, too. “We can’t just talk about how women need to be empowered without talking to the people who unfairly still have more power: the men,” he told Brown. “The men have to be part of the solution.”

This story originally appeared on Glamour.

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