News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap

Susan Colantuono

Founder & retired CEO of Leading Women

Posts by Susan Colantuono

Actions for Allies: Addressing Fears of #MeToo Overreach

"If I'm in my office alone with a woman, she might file charges against me." "I don't dare take a protege out for lunch, she might accuse me." "Now I can't compliment a woman or shake her hand without being taken to court!" These are comments we hear when working with managers on closing the leadership gender gap. The comments are especially prevalent when we talk about the importance of mentoring women. And we aren't alone. Articles from the worlds of law, finance and beyond, publicize men's fears and the #MeToo backlash.
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Mentoring Managers Mindsets Allies

Male Allies in STEM: How to Recognize Them & How to Become One

This blog is a departure in this way. Because it is a capstone for one of our Reverse Mentoring programs, it is a compilation of articles written by women and men on what it takes to be a great male ally for women in STEM. And rather than focus on who male allies are, the positions they hold or an academic definition of the term "male ally," here we focus on what male allies (and others) do to support the creation of level playing fields for women (especially those in STEM).
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Closing the Gender Gap Gender Dynamics Mentoring STEM

Here is a Key to Closing the Gender Gap at the Top... Gender Dynamics

  Here's a fact about closing the leadership gender gap that might surprise you.
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Closing the Gender Gap Gender Dynamics Diversity & Inclusion Managers Mindsets

What You Really Need to Know to Get to the C-suite!

In advertising, it's the transition from managing the client to managing the business. In construction, it's the transition from managing the project to managing the business. In professional services firms it's the transition from delivering client services to advancing the business by revenue generation. In your company, it is likely the transition from managing managers to running a business.  
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Talent Development Leadership Career IWiN CEO Advice

Managers' Mindsets: Women as Handmaidens

Women haven't wanted to talk about it... men rarely own up to it. The far too silent barrier to women's advancement is the dynamic of Non-Parental Gender-Based Role Expectations. Read about why in our second of three blogs discussing the role of managers' mindsets: 
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Managers Mindsets

National Mentoring Month - Why Mentoring Matters to Women

January is National Mentoring Month (#NaMeMo) in the United States, and while the month originally focused on mentoring youth, it has now grown to include all forms of mentoring. For us at Leading Women, our research has found that mentoring women is not only good for the women being mentored, but other women in the pipeline and their company's bottom line. 
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The Missing 33% Leadership Career Mentoring

Managers' Mindsets: Women as Sex Objects

Women haven't wanted to talk about it... men rarely own up to it. The far too silent barrier to women's advancement is the dynamic of Non-Parental Gender-Based Role Expectations. Here's why. About 10 years ago when we systematically started tracking gender dynamics, we didn't specifically ask about outright harassment because most companies' anti-harassment policies and practices seemed to be working fairly well. Instead we asked about overall "gender-based role expectations (non-parental)" and the dynamics of women being seen and treated as: sex objects (through the lens of potential romantic relationships), daughters/sisters needing protection or mothers to be rebelled against (through the lens of familial relationships) or handmaidens (through the lens of roles traditionally held by women).
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Managers Mindsets

Let’s Stop Talking About “Female” Leadership Traits

Recently, a podcast host asked me if I’d be interested in doing an interview on gender differences in leadership styles. More specifically, the host wanted me to chat about how women are much more inclusive leaders than men. On the surface, this seems like a positive development for women, and something that’s worth crowing about. It’s also got a lot of traction: viewing women as more inclusive leaders seems like something that will finally get them into the C-suite en masse, no? I declined. No matter how positive it might seem on the surface to point out the “innate” characteristics of female leaders, it never leads to the kind of change we want. Read on to learn about the sinister side of gender essentialism, and how defining women leaders differently doesn’t serve them.
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Closing the Gender Gap Gender Dynamics Leadership

6 Tips for Requesting Manager Feedback

"Feedback is a gift." You've undoubtedly heard this many times over. Feedback is so valuable that many organizations develop and use 180º and 360º assessments as part of their talent development activities. Often based on their own leadership models and/or performance systems, we have found many of them to be less than helpful to women's advancement. The most worrisome problem is that these assessments often overemphasize the importance of engagement skills. This is also true of many assessments developed by leadership development firms. To counter these problems, Leading Women developed our own assessments that provide women the feedback they need to hear in proportions that are relevant to the level at which they are leading and to which they aspire. We use these proprietary 180° and 360° assessments with the women participating in our programs.  One of the most common questions they ask is how to discuss the feedback with their managers. Here are 6 tips we share with them: 
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Talent Development Career Women's Leadership Development

9 Things Women in Leadership Must Know

There are many things that women haven't been told about leadership from career-start to the corporate boardroom. Here are 9 fundamental things about leadership that women haven't been told and need to know. They are these. Leadership is simple, but it's not easy. It's simple if you have a definition of leadership that is useful and prescriptive. This is the first of 9 things that every woman should know about leadership: 1. "Leadership is using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others." This definition is one you can use to make plans at the start of each day or evaluate actions at the end of each day. Acts of leadership involve standing on the foundation of personal greatness, focusing on achieving key outcomes and engaging others in achieving those outcomes. 
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Talent Development Closing the Gender Gap The Missing 33% Leadership Career Breakthrough Leadership