News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap

2016 Most Read Leading Women Blogs - In Case You Missed Them


Top 6 TED Talks on Women's Advancement and/or Leadership


6 TED Talks for Leadership Development and Career Success for Women

We searched TED for the most viewed, most fascinating, most informative talks on women in business and on leadership and created a list of TED Talks that everyone should watch. 

Here's our list. Continue reading to see why!

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We recently asked our cracker-jack researcher Lara Feghaly to decode the 10 most substantive articles on confidence that she could find. And to do the same with the book The Confidence Code.

What she discovered is startling and crucial for women's career advancement. And we've turned it into an infographic for you.

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What is Your Company Planning to do for Millennials?

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The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Study is out - and Leading Women's research is in and neither is great news for companies without a leadership development program for their Millennial women:

Deloitte research says: 

“This year’s survey shows that women are equally likely as men to rate 'opportunities for career progression and leadership roles' as a major factor for staying at or leaving a job.”

“Millennials want to work for organizations that have a purpose beyond profit, and they want those organizations to provide opportunities to develop leadership skills. These may be the two most important factors in creating job satisfaction and long-term loyalty, especially among Millennial women.”

“This year’s survey shows women (67 percent) are slightly more likely than men (64 percent) to leave their employers within the next five years. One reason could be that 48 percent of female respondents say they are 'being overlooked for potential leadership positions.'”

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Why is everyone STILL talking about Gender Diversity?


Most executives believe the "gender problem" isn't real. And many wonder why we're still talking about it.

I recently read two reports on Gender Diversity published by McKinsey& Company: Women in the Workplace 2015, and The CEO’s Guide to Gender Diversity, that illustrate how real it is and why it hasn't been fixed.

The gap is real. 

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Why Unconscious Bias Training Doesn't Close the Gender Gap: The Case for Gender Dynamics

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Generic unconscious bias training and its umbrella intervention, diversity training, have been around for decades, but they have still failed to close the leadership gender gap. In their article Why Diversity Programs Fail, Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev argue that this is because too much diversity training is mandatory, prompting resentment and defensiveness from managers. “Trainers tell us that people often respond to compulsory courses with anger and resistance—and many participants actually report more animosity toward other groups afterward,” they write.

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Gender Dynamics: Shrink the Power of the Motherhood Penalty

Sitting in a talent discussion a manager says,
"She wouldn't want that assignment, she has young kids." 
Sound far fetched in the 21st century?
It isn't!
Our research finds that barriers created by mindsets like this are reported by women's focus groups in countries including the US, Canada, Brazil and India and focus groups of male managers in countries such as Belgium, China, Italy and Mexico.With this mindset, a manager might believe s/he is acting with care for the candidate and is unaware of the motherhood penalty s/he is applying. Being unaware, the motherhood penalty dynamic (with its underlying unexamined assumptions) controls the decision...the manager does not. As a result, women in general (and mothers in particular) fail to advance at rates equal to men.

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What's Wrong with What Women are Taught About Executive Presence?


Not long ago Leading Women CEO, Susan Colantuono, was working with top executive women and men on a discussion of executive presence. She asked everyone to write down the first quality that comes to mind when they think of "executive presence." Then they took their words and stood next to flipcharts labeled Personal Greatness, Engaging Others and Achieving Outcomes.

To their surprise, over 50% of the room had words that fell under Personal Greatness, about 30% engaging others and under 20% on achieving outcomes.

BUT this wasn't to our surprise. To find out why...

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Dear HR: Can You See the Inequality?


When presenting proposals for their strategic initiatives, D&I executives often face challenges from  colleagues in HR who ask something like this:

"Don't programs for women unfairly favor women over men?"

The question springs from 2 sincerely held beliefs that the:

  1. HR systems1 they've created are gender-neutral
  2. Managers who execute these HR systems make decisions and take actions that are gender-neutral

Unfortunately, neither belief is true. If they were, women would be proportionally represented at all levels of leadership. That’s why, to paraphrase a Adam Grant’s challenge to “wake up and smell the inequality,”  it’s time for HR to wake up and see the inequality.

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Gender Dynamics: Another CEO Who "Gets It"


Over the last few years or so we have noticed a number of CEOs who are being praised in the news for understanding that gender dynamics are real and when they level the playing field for all of their employees they help their company as a whole. 

In one of Leading Women's blog posts from May 2015, we wrote about Michael Simonds, CEO of UNUM who wrote with deep underrstanding about women's advancement and closing the leadership gender gap.

Our latest nominee for a CEO Who "Gets It" - CEO Marc Benioff - was in the news in March 2016 for ensuring pay equity by conducting wage equity audits and making the requisite adjustments, and for naming their first Chief Equality Officer in September 2016. 

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Making the Business Case for Gender Initiatives


Since the 1970s, many companies have understood and taken action on the business case for gender initiatives, made progress and reaped benefits. Others are still questioning whether this topic warrants their attention. In a recent interview for an upcoming TV biz news interview I was asked about this:

  1. Q: It’s been over 40 years since large numbers of women started entering the workforce with college degrees and career aspirations and yet the statistics about women in leadership positions are grim across most industries. Why do and why should companies consider this to be a problem and invest money to solve it?
  •  I answered: Investing money to move more women into all levels of management is important because for decades every single study has found a correlation between the % of women in management and higher financial performance.

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Topics: In Case You Missed It

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