Help get women into leadership roles
The benefits of women in leadership roles have been communicated widely over the years, but there is something missing the mark.
Gender balance and achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces are basic change management. At the risk of seeming repetitive, this is about
🎯Changes to individual behaviour
Resistance comes strongly from those who benefit from the status quo. Others will reluctantly accept change as long as it doesn’t impact them and heaven forbid, they have to change the way they do things.
Even though the benefits of women in leadership roles have been communicated widely over the years, there is something in the messaging around this that is missing the mark.
6 fixes to help get women into leadership roles
1. Lack of systemic change
Unconscious bias, and gender expectations are deeply embedded into the way organizations support women’s careers. Without a thorough audit of all systems: sourcing, hiring, promotion, compensation, and feedback women will have fewer opportunities for advancement.
2. No budget
Gender balance, diversity, and inclusion initiatives require investment just like any other change management proposal. Without an adequate budget any good intentions will struggle.
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3. No KPIs
If a CEO only champions inclusion verbally and doesn’t set their leadership team targeted KPIs which include gender quotas, they are doomed to fail. No one likes the idea of quotas, but they do work.
To achieve meaningful change, an organization must champion gender balance at all levels to embed the notion of the business culture. There is no point in having women in senior roles if supporting gender balance isn’t practiced in every part of the business.
A typical scenario could be to have women in leadership in HR, Legal and Communications roles, but R & D, Sales and Engineering would all be male-dominated. That is not gender balance.
5. Not understanding dissent
Overlooking resistance and understanding why people object is key to success. Creating a place for constructive dialogue where employees can express their concerns is paramount. It is also a way to test the leadership thinking to see what is behind these new perspectives and if anything has been missed.
Resistance is a coaching and learning opportunity for all.
6. Lack of ongoing support
During the transition period, women will need a concerted effort from their organizations to support them in achieving these goals. Companies should offer:
There are many obstacles to creating a more inclusive and diverse leadership landscape. These are only six steps that organizations can take to overcome barriers to getting women into leadership roles.
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