Creating an Environment that Encourages Women in Leadership
Creating a workplace environment that encourages gender diversity is an issue some organisations seem all too ready to ignore.

Women are Underrepresented in Leadership Roles

Companies are more eager than ever to show they are on board with gender diversity. Yet women are still under-represented at every stage of the career pipeline, particularly in leadership roles.

 

Slow Progress

Creating a workplace environment that encourages gender diversity is an issue some organisations seem all too ready to ignore. They may claim to be making changes, but there is evidence to suggest this may not be the case.

For example, of the 24% of women in key management roles, most are in support positions such as HR manager. But around 90% of CEO appointments come from roles like head of a business division. This means the number of women in line for the top positions is even smaller than it appears.

Cultural Change

All employees want to be respected and feel they have an equal opportunity to grow and advance. All employees want a fair system as well, including men. The right company culture is key to creating an environment that fosters women in leadership. As such, gender diversity needs to be a key element in an organisation’s policies and mission statements. When a company’s culture is fair and inclusive, women, and other diverse groups, have the freedom to thrive.

Mentorship Programs

A recent study found that women tend to set more ambitious goals when they discuss them with other women. Mentoring programs are a powerful solution to assist any one with their career development. They can facilitate leadership skill development and support women to step towards top positions. And as women gain confidence, they are further likely to own their career advancement. They will push themselves to achieve goals and move up the corporate ladder.

Self-awareness Coaching

Self-awareness is a critical leadership competency. It is essential for self-confidence and self-efficacy. Both of which are vital for developing leadership presence. For example, people interrupt women in the workplace much more than they do men. Yet many women aren’t aware this is happening to them.

Self-awareness is important for mastering the ever-changing work environment for anyone. But for women it is especially critical, because women often face more challenges at work. Challenges they must learn to navigate to succeed.

Hiring

Ultimately though, if you don’t recruit enough women, then it doesn’t matter what else you do. Therefore, ensure your hiring process is fair. Make sure job advertisements are gender neutral and encourage women to apply. And ask candidates to undertake testing where their gender is unknown, so they are judged solely on the results.

 


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