10 Strategies for 2021 to Help Engage & Retain Women

4 min read | Kelly Primus


As we wrap up our 7-part series: “Gender + Diversity Playbook: Setting and Achieving Your Goals for 2021 and Beyond” - let’s review why we felt it important to put together a playbook in the first place. It started with 2020’s Miss is Now a “New” 2030 Promise–But Will Orgs Break This Promise Too?, where we talked about tackling some of the specific barriers that are causing the leadership gender gap (hint: it’s not just about committing to a 50/50 gender balanced workforce by 2030, you must take targeted actions). 

From there, Leading Women’s CEO offered her advice From One CEO to Another–It’s Time to Get Focused, where she talked about why you’re no closer to closing the leadership gender gap than you were ten years ago, and outlined the Top 5 Things CEOs need to do to build a diverse and inclusive company (hint: it’s not like turning on a light switch). 

And over the last several months, our playbook series covered these important topics: 

This final installment of the playbook, Part 7, covers the ten things your organization can do in 2021 to hit the ground running and ENGAGE & RETAIN women. The list below provides a road map of recommendations to help set your company up to achieve diversity & inclusion goals for the coming year, and to keep you on track for years to come.


Implement These 10 Strategies in 2021
to Engage & Retain Women:

  1. Make & implement plans to collect data to track progress (or lack thereof)

  2. Set & publish targets (#’s) for women’s advancement by level

  3. Invest in Management/Leadership Training for Women

  4. Incorporate Formal Mentoring Programs for women

  5. Invest in Executive coaching for high potential women

  6. Engage senior managers/executives to identify high potential women (and to be their mentor)

  7. Require your people managers to participate in a Gender Dynamics program to change managers’ mindsets

  8. Have succession discussions on what’s next for high potential women

  9. Engage senior managers/executives to sponsor high potential women

  10. Actively encourage women to self-nominate for advancement and other opportunities

We hope you’ve found the information provided in the Gender + Diversity Playbook a valuable addition to your company’s arsenal of HR tools. At Leading Women, we work with organizations large and small, to help companies like yours equip women leaders, unlock potential, and change managers’ mindsets to achieve diversity goals. 

If you’re unsure how to get started with your own playbook implementation process, let’s have a conversation. We have over 17 years of research-backed, results-oriented solutions, and are THE “go-to” resource for bringing Gender Balance to Leadership. #WeCanHelp


Contact Us to Learn More



Gender + Diversity Playbook:
Setting and Achieving Your Goals for 2021 and Beyond

Part 1: 2020’s Miss is Now a “New” 2030 Promise – But Will Orgs Break This Promise Too?

Part 2: From One CEO to Another—It’s Time to Get Focused

Part 3: How to Engage & Retain More Women - Top 5 Things You Can Do!

Part 4: How To Change Your Company’s Culture To Be More Inclusive

Part 5: Make Your Company Policies Inclusive by Looking at these 3 HR Tools

Part 6: These 5 Tips Will Help You Recruit More Women/Diverse Candidates

Part 7: 10 Strategies for 2021 to Help Engage & Retain Women