6 fixes to help get women into leadership roles

by Aug 3, 2023

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


🎯Leadership commitment

🎯Systemic change

🎯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.

women in leadership roles


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.

4. Tokenism

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:

  • Formal sponsoring and mentoring programmes
  • Benefits that support work-life balance for both men and women
  • Ongoing training to all –  the road to gender balance, diversity and inclusion is not a once-and-done activity.
  • Confidential reporting systems for sexism and harassment.

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.


If you would like to find out how to attract women leaders for your organization, Contact 3Plus NOW



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