Ongoing studies by McKinsey and a recent study here seem to show that investing in women CEOs yields greater returns. What are your thoughts? Is this true? If so, what do you think are the factors driving better success rates?
It's because you're the only woman in the room, you've bested out the men and women for the top job--so you better have your life and work together.
No doubt Islin, once there, women need to be outstanding. Fair or not, when you are in the minority, a brighter spotlight shines on your performance. My question now is what support system can be provided to help ensure success? And what pathways can be developed to help more women rise in organizations? If it's true that once women reach the top jobs, they successfully outmaneuver their counterparts...then it is in everyone's best interest to help more women pave that path! It's a win/win/win! The only question remains then, why aren't more women making that trip to the top?
My first thought was exactly what the article says. Women have to be rock stars to be considered for the top spot. Not only do women have to be rock stars, they have to be perceived as rock stars. I once had a conversation with a male mentor discussing my career path. He was good enough to tell me how I was perceived by the leadership in our company (all men) at the time. They recognized that I am smart, but not a strategist. I think women have to shine much brighter to be recognized for having the same talent as men and often that means greater risk and a willingness to fail. BTW, this is not only the case for the top spot in the company, but for almost any position including getting hired.
Finding people who will give you such HONEST feedback is a gift! I hope you thanked him, sincerely.
You are not kidding! I really had no idea how I was perceived. I definitely thanked him and let him know how meaningful the feedback was. In addition to that I put the information to good use.
I think this is so true. Women are promoted based on performance, men tend to be promoted based on potential. Therein lies the rub.
How can women reach their top goals in their career if they have to exceed in those jobs before even reaching them? And how do they compete against a culture that offers opportunities to those with perceived potential over those heads down overachiever counterparts? Of course these are generalities and each case is unique, but there is a very real theme. Women do have to work harder.
I would like to see in the scenario you provided that a roadmap is provided by your manager. What are the attributes that are being sought for someone in the top jobs (assuming this is what you wanted in your career path), and what courses can you take in order to strengthen those attributes? What is the path? I hope that managers will pave the path for their employees rather than simply point to perceived short-comings. I hope that companies adopt programs to motivate managers to ensure all of their employees succeed! That includes valuing soft skills that are so important in the C-Suite. More so now than ever before C-Suite executives need to collaborate with one another in order to grow companies...an attribute very often associated with women.
Research (which originated at HP) shows that women are less likely than men to take risks. By which I mean -- a man will typically "go for" a key spot when he knows he is only 50-60% ready, while women typically wait until 80%+ ... if you follow this to its logical conclusion, then when women DO take roles, they should be more qualified and therefore perform better.
Some articles cite this as the "confidence gap", but it ought to result in higher confidence with women hires ... and a righteous spiral upwards ... eventually.
Heather, insightful observation. This "confidence gap" may be real. In a C-panel discussion with women hosted by an executive council under rather confidential terms did share a pretty pervasive theme - women suffer from a lack of confidence to ask for and grab the opportunities. This could be fueled by many things...including the very real cultural head winds that still exist. So, what can we do to help? There are a number of courses developed and hosted across companies today to help boost confidence and prepare women to reach their career goals. I'm excited to participate in these discussions and looking forward to contributing in the ways that I can to help. Groups like the National Women's Council and CIO Executive Council's Executive Women are just a few supporting the good cause. Please do share any other resources that you have found that may be helpful too! Thank you for your comments!
Honestly, I think the best thing we can do is PUSH … our selves, colleagues, daughters, etc. When they are “wishing” they could go for a job, give them the nudge to try!
Send the link to the HP/ HBR article that talks about how people don’t try early enough.
Point out that if you already know everything to get a job, then – by definition – you are not learning enough in that role!
Those are the top 3 I can think of,
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