News & Tips on Women's Advancement & More...

6 min read | Susan Colantuono

Keep your eyes open for our colorful "white" paper on women's advancement. In the meantime, did you see these?

Say Yes to Success

Since before writing No Ceiling, No Walls we've highlighted the importance of taking line/operations positions. It's why we encourage women to "say yes to success" by going after or taking positions at the heart of their businesses. A new study shows how important this is.

"About 94 percent of S&P 500 CEOs held top operations positions immediately before ascending to the top job, and the relative scarcity of women overseeing product lines or entire businesses risks slowing their advance to the very top. The data show that the next generation of female executives is poorly positioned to capitalize on recent progress at a time companies from Google Inc. to Apple Inc. are laying bare their lack of diversity to help raise the number of women and minorities in the workforce."

CEO Says Yes to Women's Success

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce puts teeth (and gender dynamics training) behind his commitment to women's advancement.

"When we put our top 500 managers through training on unconscious bias, many of them were surprised at how it challenged their assumptions – and motivated to act on it.

"A lot of people said, "It doesn’t apply to me." But when they did the course they realised that they were influenced by an element of bias, even if it wasn't immediately apparent (and that applied to female executives as well as men)."

The Solution for Wage Equity Shouldn't Rest Solely on Women

All too often, wome get blamed for the wage gap (we don't ask or negotiate) and women's initiatives don't include wage equity audits in their key initiatives. That's not the case for these companies in Australia.

"Westpac has done it, Telstra, Woolworths, ANZ, NAB, CSR and BP are on to it, and even number-crunchers such as accountants KPMG are doing it.

So let’s do it – let’s have pay equity for women and men who are doing similar jobs."

 Nor is it the case at GAP.

"In an uncommon display of transparency, Gap recently disclosed that it pays men and women equally for equal work.

Exponential Talent, a consulting firm that specializes in workforce diversity, analyzed a dataset of pay information for Gap's 130,000 employees around the world and found that there is "no significant gender wage difference between women and men" who do the same jobs at Gap -- both globally and by region."

What is your company doing about the wage gap?

Yes, BUT...women's greatness at "leadership" is not all good news

"According to the American Psychological Association (APA), women are rated as highly as men, sometimes higher, when it comes to being effective leaders. “When all leadership contexts are considered, men and women do not differ in perceived leadership effectiveness...”

We know the reasons.

  1. Most of the measures of leadership effectiveness fall into 2/3 of the leadership definition thus insufficiently measuring The Missing 33%™.
  2. By including the measures given by direct reports and not managers, the ratings are skewed in favor of women.

As evidence of #1 above, Korn Ferry recently released a similar finding.

"...with the exception of confidence, women generally score higher than men in all dimensions of leadership style and in most of the skills and competencies deemed necessary for senior leadership success, such as employee engagement, customer satisfaction and building talent.

Excuse us, but these talents are clustered into "engaging the greantess in others" - only 1/3 of the elements needed for senior leadership success. As a matter of fact, buried in the study they admit this as well.

"Women are rated lower in financial and strategic skills both of which are mission critical at the executive level."

Another Case for Gender Dynamics Initiatives

"The question I wanted to answer was: Did <performance> review tone or content differ based on the employee’s gender?...

When breaking the reviews down by gender of the person evaluated, 58.9% of the reviews received by men contained critical feedback. 87.9% of the reviews received by women did.

Men are given constructive suggestions. Women are given constructive suggestions – and told to pipe down."

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Lead ON!


Susan L. Colantuono, CEO
|  +1-401-789-0441  | 
click on the image above to view my TED Talk: Closing the Leadership Gender Gap
Author: No Ceiling, No Walls and Make the Most of Mentoring
"Leadership is using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain
extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others." 
Susan L. Colantuono

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