The Female Leadership Crisis (Network of Women Executives)
The ‘broken rung’ is still holding women back (McKinsey)
Companies are at risk of losing women in leadership (LeanIn.org)
Good news — in the last six years, women have seen modest improvements in executive positions’ representation (from 23% to 28%, McKinsey). However, the Network for Executive Women warns, without continued focus and changes to policies, our representation will decline to 15% by 2027. Challenges such as fewer role models, a lack of internal sponsors, and high-performance pressures make it difficult for one individual to overcome advancement barriers. My success story is a product of my drive and a small number of managers who were open to working with me, intentional about their sponsorship, and encouraging in my development.
The Break Barriers Playbook
“Becoming a leader involves much more than being put in a leadership role…it involves a fundamental identity shift. Organizations inadvertently undermine this process when they advise women to proactively seek leadership roles without also addressing policies and practices that communicate a mismatch between how women are seen and the qualities and experiences people tend to associate with leaders.”
— Havard Business Review (Ibarra et al.)
Women experience the workplace differently, so when you are preparing women for leadership positions:
- Be transparent about the specific skills and experiences required to advance.
- Think long-term and create development plans based on the specific gaps.
- Make coaching available to accelerate learning and provide support.
- Sponsor and advocate for women when leadership opportunities arise.
Breaking barriers allows everyone in your organization to grow. Diverse organizations attract top talent and have more engaged employees. Create an environment that supports and prepares women to lead.
Before you go…
March 8th is International Women’s Day. Here are some articles and resources that are worth-a-read:
- My March blog post, Developing Women Leaders, provides more insight into women’s workplace experiences.
- 50 Ways to Fight Bias (LeanIn.org) includes resources for organizations and HR professionals to conduct their own bias workshops.
- Breaking Down Barriers for Women in Leadership (International Women’s Day) outlines ways companies can attract and retain more women leaders.
Contact me to discuss what women leadership coaching could look like for your organization.