News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap

Bread and Roses!

Iceland  Women's Day Off, photo from the BBCMarch 8th is International Women's Day
and in addition to the official #BeBoldForChange campaign, other groups across the United States and the world are preparing for an International Women's Strike. A "day without women" is not a new concept and has happened a number of times across the world with varying effect, most notably in recent times,  Iceland's Women's Day Off on 24 October 1975. Women from all across Iceland, with different backgrounds brought the country to a screeching halt. 

According to the Global Nonviolent Action Database: "The striking women achieved their goal of demonstrating the importance of their work, at all levels from home to workplace, to the well being of the country. They essentially shut down most of the nation for the day. While this was their main goal... it even led to the passage of an equal rights bill..." While the bill did little to change things immediately, Iceland is now ranked #1 on the WEF's Global Gender Gap Index. While they still have a ways to go to reach true parity, they have taken steps to insure they are moving in the right direction. 

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Gender Bias, Diversity & Inclusion

Equipping women to deal with gender dynamics

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"History must be learned in pieces. This is partly because we have only pieces of the past...which give us glimpses of what has been but never the whole reality."

Thomas Cahill, author: 
Sailing the Wine Dark Sea

This quote about the fragmentary nature of history reminded me of the photo I took of the goddess Artemis in the museum on the Greek Island of Delos (her birthplace). Artemis, the huntress, was one of the most widely venerated ancient Greek goddesses and seeing her I reveled in the thought that in certain cultures deities could be - and still can be - women.

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Millennials, Gender Bias, Career

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

TrainingsGeneric 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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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Gender Bias, Unconscious Bias, Women's Leadership Development, Talent Development

Managers' Mindsets & Millennials

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While on Facebook the other day, I came across this post from a friend, who works in HR for a well-known US-based health insurance company, and I could not get what she wrote out of my head. 

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Millennials, Gender Bias, Unconscious Bias

Dear HR: Can You See the Inequality?

Screen_Shot_2016-04-03_at_9.58.13_AM.pngWhen presenting proposals for their strategic initiatives, D&I executives often face challenges from  colleagues in HR who ask something like this:

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Gender Bias

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.

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics, Leadership, Gender Bias

Unconscious Bias at the Office – Does Your Company Have a Plan?

Recently I read an article about Fortune Magazine’s Pattie Sellers moderating a discussion with execs from Facebook, Coca-Cola and FCB Worldwide on how their companies were attacking the problem of unconscious bias. When referring to unconscious bias, Maxine Williams, global director of diversity at Facebook spoke about “a problem that, as increasing numbers of companies are realizing, prevents them from improving their workforce diversity and typically interferes with the productivity of their employees.”

When Seller asked the audience of 200 executives whether they had unconscious bias training programs within their company, only a dozen raised their hands. When asked how many would like to have a program, practically the entire room raised their hands.

Huh. If unconscious bias is as big a problem as it seems, why don’t more companies have a plan to deal with it? 

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Gender Bias

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