News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap

Actions for Allies: Addressing Fears of #MeToo Overreach

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"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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Topics: Allies, Managers Mindsets, Mentoring

Happy Labor Day and Start of Fall

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Happy Labor Day to all of our friends in the United States! And happy start of Fall to the rest of friends around the world. Yes, yes, I know that Fall actually begins on 23 September, but we all know in reality by tomorrow you will be back into the normal swing of things and that Summer is over. Now that you are back at your desks and starting to plan for next year, we at Leading Women would love to be there to help support your organization close the leadership gender gap.  

Leading Women's proprietary research creates innovative solutions that deliver unique insights, actionable tools and a business focus. Consultation, live programs, online content and virtual interventions will move your organization forward in 3 major areas:

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Topics: Leading Women, Closing the Gender Gap, IWiN, Managers Mindsets

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

 Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Here's a fact about closing the leadership gender gap that might surprise you.

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Topics: Closing the Gender Gap, Gender Dynamics, Diversity & Inclusion, Managers Mindsets

Managers' Mindsets: Women as Handmaidens

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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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Topics: Managers Mindsets

Managers' Mindsets: Women as Sex Objects

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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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Topics: Managers Mindsets

Managers' Mindsets and Hostile Work Environments

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Women don't want to talk about it... men don't want to 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.

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Topics: Managers Mindsets

Mindsets not Mothers

Mother's Day was this past weekend in the United States (and in many other countries as well) and my husband took our kids to the playground in the afternoon so I had few minutes by myself to read the paper - a luxury most parents will understand - when I stumbled upon an opinion piece in the New York Times entitled "The Gender Pay Gap Is Largely Because of Motherhood." This piece, while attempting to highlight the gender pay gap, completely missed the mark.

It isn't necessarily a problem with women prioritizing family, but rather with managers' expectations that they will and companies allowing managers to create unequal pay situations. Manager's mindsets strike again!

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Topics: Motherhood Penalty, Managers Mindsets

When you're accustomed to privilege equality feels like oppression.


HorsesMouth-Oppression.pngAt the tail end of 2016, the CEOs of 27 large companies made an unprecedented announcement: they pledged to have 50% of their top leadership roles filled by women by the year 2030. To achieve the goal, they identified key actions for senior managers including: 

"...address unconscious bias;  base advancement on performance rather than time in the office; promote women into operating roles with responsibility for profit and loss; set targets and communicate them; and actively sponsor promising female leaders."

Executives in the EU  and Australia have similar coalitions in place.

Time to break out the champagne, right? Not so fast. Surprisingly—or perhaps unsurprisingly, depending on how cynical you are—not everyone agrees that we need more gender equality initiatives. In fact, there are many men and some women who think actions like calls to promote women into operating roles, setting targets and sponsoring promising women are frankly unnecessary and unfair.

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Topics: Gender Dynamics, Managers Mindsets, Unconscious Bias

"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

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