2021 Top 10 Most Read Leading NOW Blogs - In Case You Missed It

15 min read | Samantha Furbush Taraskiewicz
2021 Top 10 Blogs
  1. Building a Road Map to an Inclusive Culture

  2. Research Concludes Mentors Are Key To Women’s Career Success

  3. Why it is Important to Assess Your Inclusive Culture Intelligently

  4. Does Your Leadership Have The Necessary Trait To Succeed?

  5. Reverse Mentoring as Diverse Mentoring

  6. 4 Steps to Making a Real & Lasting DE&I Impact

  7. What is Cultural Dynamics?

  8. 10 Strategies for 2021 to Help Engage & Retain Women

  9. Preparing Diverse Talent for Leadership

  10. What HR Leaders are saying about our Master Class on Cultural Dynamics in the Workplace™

Building a Road Map to an Inclusive Culture

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In a recent blog, I addressed how to change the culture of your company to be more inclusive for all, and the four steps organizations must take to make a real and lasting DE&I impact: 

  • Assess Current State
  • Align Leadership & Develop Your Roadmap
  • Engage & Develop Your Team Members
  • Deploy & Embed Revamped Mechanisms

These four steps are critical to your DE&I journey and cannot be overstated. Remember, to make real progress, people, and the organizational cultures they are part of, must change.

When you think about the seemingly daunting task of building a DE&I strategy, here’s an easy way to help simplify it. Think of your strategy like taking a road trip, with the ultimate destination being a culture of inclusion. ...

Read ON! 


Research Concludes Mentors Are Key To Women’s Career Success

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January is National Mentoring Month –– a great time to start our new 5-part series called Leadership Lessons from Women Leaders

Let’s begin with some good news––research shows that women at the top of organizations are good for business––and for other women. That’s good news, right? The challenge for women, however, continues to be HOW to get to the top. 

Mentorship is one of the keys to success in business, and can play a major role in a woman’s career path to leadership. Mentors can help you identify and achieve career goals, give you confidence, broaden your knowledge, empower you, and open doors, paving the way to access leadership positions. That said, mentorship for women looks different than men in that most mentors only give supportive mentoring advice, like confidence and empowerment. We KNOW, that it’s important to seek mentors who also provide women with STRATEGIC (PIE™) mentoring on Business, Strategic and Financial ACUMEN. Having the right mentor to guide you on your career journey is an important step to learning the skills you need to bring you to the top. 

In 2020, Leading Women conducted its own research with some of the most successful women CEOs and Presidents of Fortune 500/5000 companies in business today. We asked them to share thoughts from their own experiences, and career trajectory on a range of topics. We’re excited to share their answers with you over the course of the next several months, starting with mentorship. ...

Read ON! 


Why it is Important to Assess Your Inclusive Culture Intelligently

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Last week, I discovered that the arthritic hip that I had been protecting from too much exercise over the past 12 years was, in fact, not arthritis at all. It turns out that it is an inflexibility in my lower back that would have benefitted greatly from a decade or so of much more exercise than I was doing. The discomfort in my hip, knee and ankle was a compensation for the inflexibility in my back… An inflexibility that I should have been actively managing for quite a while now.

My diagnosis for arthritis came as a result of a very superficial examination by my local doctor back in 2009. A five minute, mostly visual, assessment and a cursory diagnosis. ‘Well, it’s obvious what’s wrong with you…If it gets too uncomfortable, there are some good painkillers available.”

I fear that we often approach organisational ailments in the same way. A little anecdotal evidence and then a cursory diagnosis. High staff turnover? Then we need to install a ping-pong table. Gender pay gap? Then we need unconscious bias training.

Read ON! 

Download more information about our Inclusive Culture Assessment


Does Your Leadership Have The Necessary Trait To Succeed?


In part two of our Leadership Lessons from Women research series, we asked some of the most successful women leaders in business today what they felt was the one leadership trait that was most important to their own success. Not surprisingly, they used words that fit squarely into our 21st century definition of leadership. Here are the results: 


Traits For Success:
  • 58% used words that describe personal greatness
  • 10% used words that describe achieving extraordinary outcomes:
  • 32% used words that describe engaging others:

Read ON! 


Reverse Mentoring as Diverse Mentoring

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A Catalyst for an Inclusive Culture 

We all know that mentorship can help pave the way for career success on the road to leadership. We also know that leaders drive culture. But for a culture to truly be inclusive, leaders must model inclusivity in all that they do. For organizations and leaders who recognize the value of creating an inclusive culture, but struggle to fundamentally shift their culture to one of inclusion for all, one proven and profound method is a formalized Reverse Mentoring program. Reverse Mentoring enables people in more senior positions to gain insight from having regular, semi-structured conversations with team members who are likely to see the world from a different perspective. The process aids in better decision-making, higher retention rates for diverse talent through greater job satisfaction, and giving invaluable exposure to under-represented talent, nurturing allies and advocates within senior ranks. 

Simply put, Reverse Mentoring is really about inclusion. In addition to having a positive impact on your company’s culture, Reverse Mentoring will liberate the power of all humans to generate the desired business outcomes needed to compete in today’s business environment.  

Read ON!


4 Steps to Making a Real & Lasting DE&I Impact

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DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) is a part of every conversation I have these days––not just because I am leading the commercial strategies for Leading NOW and it’s my job to advise organizations how to be inclusive for all, but rather because organizations are finally realizing what our research has proven all along––that building a diverse company culture starts at the top with leadership. And while organizations have tried to increase diversity in their workforce, leaders are now recognizing they’ve been missing the mark by spending a lot of money and resources without capturing the true value of diversity. 

A recent article in Harvard Business Review entitled “Getting Serious About Diversity; Enough Already with the Business Case,” highlights that the traditional approach has not delivered the outcomes promised. I agree. 

Traditional efforts have focused on diversity of representation––while not challenging the mindsets and behaviors leaders model each and every day in the workplace. 


Read ON! 


What is Cultural Dynamics?

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Understanding the 5 Key Factors that Drive Successful DEI Initiatives

If you’ve ever wondered why some organizations struggle with achieving successful Business Outcomes through DEI initiatives and others do not, the latest research from the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) has identified the 3 Barriers and 5 Key Factors of Cultural Dynamics that hold the key to DEI success. 

What is Cultural Dynamics? ...
Why is Cultural Dynamics imperative to DEI success? ...
The 3 barriers to successful DEI Initiatives fall under these three tenets ...


Read ON!

Learn more about Cultural Dynamics in the Workplace

10 Strategies for 2021 to Help Engage & Retain Women

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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.

Read ON!


Preparing Diverse Talent for Leadership

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Continuing our blog series and 4 Steps to Making a Real & Lasting DE&I Impact, we covered step #3 and how to build inclusive leadership across your business. We explored how creating a culture of inclusion can start to address our diversity challenges and ensure that all talent is welcomed, valued, and developed. The next part of the prescription addresses the ‘E’ in DE&I, which I feel is the ‘Cinderella’ of the equation. Equity is critical to long-term success, but often the poor relation when it comes to share of company attention, action, and resources. 

First, the facts

Diverse talent is massively underrepresented in organizations around the globe, and the picture is even more dire when you look at senior level leadership or executive positions. Research shows there is still a lack of women in leadership. Pew Research indicates the share of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies reached an all-time high of 7.4% in 2020, with 37 women heading major firms. No Black or Hispanic women head Fortune 500 companies, while three Asian American women serve as CEOs. And recent research from Korn Ferry highlights that only 4 of our Fortune 500 companies have Black CEO’s. These stats may have changed slightly in 2021, but there is no doubt that we have a problem. A big, thorny problem. 

Read ON!


What HR Leaders are saying about our Master Class on Cultural Dynamics in the Workplace™


It’s been an exciting time at Leading NOW. 

In September we announced the latest research from the Center for Diversity & Inclusion on Cultural Dynamics in the Workplace™. In case you missed it, the research shares the 5 key factors that drive successful DEI initiatives. 

I’m excited to share with you that we recently delivered our first 3-hour Master Class on this game-changing research at the NEHRA (Northeast Human Resources Association) Annual Conference in Newport, Rhode Island. The session for this presentation was titled Cultural Dynamics & DEI: Achieving Measurable Success That Drives Business Outcomes, and I’m happy to say, the feedback from participants was fantastic. 

The highlights from the presentation that resonated for the participants were:
  1. Understanding the big picture on leadership demographics
  2. Connecting the Mindsets of those leaders to the lack of support for DEI and why DEI needs to be a business initiative
  3. Why talent pipelines have such a small % of underrepresented talent (The Missing 33%® and lack of strategic mentoring)
  4. What they can do to impact their organization immediately for recruiting, retaining, and engaging diverse talent

Read ON! 

Read ON! About Cultural Dynamics