"..investing in women is not only the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. I am deeply convinced that, in women, the world has at its disposal, the most significant and yet largely untapped potential for development and peace."- Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, 8 March 2008
Creating gender balance at the leadership level is smart economics; it can help improve organizational performance and drive greater operating results and higher sales and market valuations. But while many organizations have initiatives geared towards developing rising female talent, senior level management positions are still dominated by men. Greater focus must be placed on creating gender balanced leadership teams by developing and harnessing the skills and strengths of all promotable talent.
- Many organizations have implemented HR systems and policies that prevent or insufficiently encourage women to take on senior management positions.
- Gender balance provides a strategic advantage to organizations as the thinking about the "best" leadership traits evolves.
- The leadership traits of those in both the dominant and muted groups must be leveraged to create leadership teams whose diversity of thought, knowledge and skills are geared towards value creation for the firm.
- Senior level management needs to be aware of – and break away from – gender-based perceptions that impede the ascension of those in muted groups within the organization.
- All individuals with leadership potential should have greater visibility within the organization and networking opportunities and mentorships to build relationships necessary to progress within an organization.
- Diagnose the root causes of gender imbalance by analyzing HR systems, policies, processes and performance indicators.
- Clarify the organization’s needs and goals in terms of developing gender balanced leadership teams.
- Develop a framework tailored to the business and gender balance objectives of the organization and perform pre-program surveys to gauge expectations and perceptions.
- Implement a customized educational program, mixing individual and team development, that may include:
- Helping existing leaders gain better understanding of differing leadership styles and the potential value in each.
- Developing the muted group’s communication style to express an authentic, well-developed point of view.
- Implementing a mentorship program to match effective mentors (male or female) with rising talent.
- Providing executive coaching to high-potential leaders.
- Conduct end-program survey to gauge overall satisfaction and determine ongoing development needs.
- Increased awareness of the value that gender balance brings to the composition of the senior leadership team.
- Effective criteria for identifying high-potential talent, regardless of gender.
- A deeper talent pool.
- Increased level of satisfaction and loyalty to the organization among muted groups.
- Improved engagement and alignment of all members of the senior leadership team, male or female.
- A culture that understands differences in leadership styles and fosters an environment that encourages collaborative and innovative thinking.
- A significant and competitive increase in employer attractiveness.
Our Affiliation with The Gender Equality Project
Axiom Consulting Partners is an accredited partner of The Gender Equality Project, having been trained in their proprietary methodology and Assessment Tool for measuring, tracking and benchmarking progress in gender equality.
Since 2009, The Gender Equality Project works with large corporations around the world to close the gap in opportunities between men and women in the workplace. TGEP’s goal is to transform workplaces, so that organizations can turn the talent, creativity and intelligence that come with gender equality into a business success and so that both men and women can find fulfillment in the personal and professional spheres of their lives.