News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap

"Frailty, thy name is woman"

Shakespeare's Hamlet denounces his mother's swift remarriage by saying, "Frailty, thy name is woman." One could suggest that researchers have been doing the same for the leadership gender gap.

As I read the key findings from LeanIn/McKinsey's latest research I notice a pattern with how they reported on gender issues. Take a look at these excerpts from the "Women face an uneven playing field" section and see if you can catch it:

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Unconscious Bias

Changing Mindsets, Taking Action


Take a look at the nine seconds of burbling Yellowstone “mudpot” action above. Here at Leading Women, we love this video because it’s a perfect metaphor for shaking things up. And when it comes to shaking up the mindsets of managers to take action to close the leadership gender gap, we’re even more passionate. “I have taken a lifetime to create these mindsets,” said one of our clients, a European executive at a global company, “and now you have destroyed some of them in three hours.” Ka-pow!

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Unconscious Bias

Equipping women to deal with gender dynamics



"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, Career, Gender Bias, Millennials

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" - 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

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

Managers' Mindsets & Millennials

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, Unconscious Bias, Gender Bias, Millennials

Great! A Business Imperative. Now what do I do?

In a recent blog, I mentioned a story about a group of 72 companies who have committed to making gender diversity a business imperative, with accountability for it within the senior executive team.

This story has caused quite a bit of commotion in social media and we’ve seen a lot of questions popping up in LinkedIn: “How are they planning on preparing the women for leadership?” “What will they do differently?” “How will they identify what needs to be done (so I can emulate it)?

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Leadership, Breakthrough Leadership, Women's Leadership Development, Business Imperative, Making the Business Case

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

Making Gender Diversity a Business Imperative?

Leading Women  Appearing on the set of Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®

In an interview on Worldwide Business with kathy ireland® that will be airing this coming weekend, Leading Women’s CEO Susan Colantuono was asked the question: “If you had one piece of advice to give to a CEO, what would it be?

She answered, “As a CEO, or as an executive or director for that matter, if women aren’t proportionately represented throughout your organization, you aren’t facing a women’s issue — you’re facing a talent development issue with business implications. And so it’s important to bring your personal commitment and the same level of organizational accountability to that challenge as you would to any business issue.

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Topics: Talent Development, Gender Dynamics, Leadership, Gender Diversity, Women's Leadership Development, Making the Business Case, CEO Advice

A Reflection On Working Parents

With Father's Day in the US last weekend, it got me thinking about working families and what companies are doing to keep and support both working mothers and working fathers. The US Department of Labor reports that 70% of women with children under 18 years old participate in the labor market in some way, signaling a change from the days where father went off to work and mother stayed home and raised the children. 
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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Millennials, Motherhood Penalty

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