News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap

Let’s Stop Talking About “Female” Leadership Traits

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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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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics, Leadership

2017 Gender Gap Report Released

wef_0.jpgThe World Economic Forum (WEF) released its 2017 Gender Gap Report last week, so we thought we'd take a look at the US and in some of the countries where our clients are working to close the gender gap in their companies. While progress is slow, many nations are making progress - and we are grateful for the improvements they are making in the lives of women.

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap

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. I wrote an entire book about them, but there 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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Topics: Talent Development, Closing the Gender Gap, The Missing 33%, Leadership, Career, Breakthrough Leadership

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Recently, I was asked to present information on “How to Make a Business Case for Gender Diversity” at the 100% Talent Wage Gap Summit in Seattle. Citing research on how increasing the percentage of women in leadership delivers significantly better business results from well-known organization’s like Credit Suisse, McKinsey & Co., Peterson Institute for International Economics, EY, Catalyst, and the Centre for Talent Innovation, I had all the data back-up I needed to make the case for investing in diversity initiatives.

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Business Imperative, Making the Business Case

Want to Be Paid Fairly? Join a Tech Company with More Women Executives

Today's blog post comes from our friend Bridget Frey CTO at Redfin. Redfin and PayScale analyzed the executive teams at 31 of the largest U.S. tech companies and 6,562 salary profiles of people who reported working for these companies. What did they discover? The gender pay gap is half the size at tech companies with more women executives. 

Read ON!


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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics

Equal Pay Day 2017

Equal Pay Day in the United States is 4 April this year, but what does this actual mean? On the surface it means that on average woman in the United States need to work 15 months to earn the same amount that their male peers earn in 12. But this is not the full story. 

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics, Women of Color

Gender Dynamics: Another CEO Who "Gets It"

Marc-Benioff-SalesforceOver 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" - Salesforce.com 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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Topics: Talent Development, Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets

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...

Request the Infographic Here!

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Topics: Talent Development, Closing the Gender Gap, The Missing 33%, Career, Women's Leadership Development

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!

  1. Why we have too few women leaders
  2. Dare to disagree
  3. The career advise you probably didn't get
  4. What it takes to be a great leader
  5. So we leaned in... now what?
  6. Color blind or color brave? 

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, The Missing 33%, Leadership, TED, Women of Color

Making the Business Case for Gender Initiatives

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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:

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Diversity & Inclusion, Making the Business Case

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