Women in Leadership BOOST Success
Is your workplace under-represented with women in leadership positions? Do you know why that may be? Now, there is a better understanding of women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions across sectors and countries and with this clarity, we can also see that increased participation rates improve market value. There are great benefits to be gained with women in leadership as “They tend to be more democratic, they tend to be more collaborative and to have a greater sense of corporate social responsibility. They’re also less likely to participate in fraudulent behaviour.” Ms Cassells. Opportunities are available to push through barriers, advance women’s leadership and make a difference for future generations. “The future is in your hands.”
“You are never too small to make a difference.” – Greta Thunberg
PUSHING though BARRIERS
Although my blog highlights some excellent examples of younger women in some global leadership positions, women are woefully underrepresented in Australian politics and in general, this is common around the world. Any sort of decision-making in public tends to lean towards sexism and ageism, marginalising both younger generations and women in particular. By hosting the Outstanding Leadership Awards our aim is to change the face of Leadership in Australia.
Younger people are starting to push through this barrier and become the leaders of causes that matter to their generation. Whether it’s protesting governments for various types of reform, climate marches or for women’s rights, young women are becoming the face of movements around the world. The important point to note about this, however, is that the common link between these young women is that they are leaders in an ‘informal’ way. They are not noticed by the more formal hiring systems, which value traditionally male traits, favouring older men in particular. This system sees the tradition of mainly older men hiring and promoting those who closely resemble them. The cycle continues, and diversity remains underrepresented in formal systems. Let’s shake up these traditional views and get rid of them once and for all. This is why we are incredibly passionate about our Emerging Leaders and Women in Leadership Programs at McDonald Inc. Let’s allow diversity to improve things for us all. Let’s really start embracing our young people as the leaders they can be – and that some already are.
ADVANCING WOMENS LEADERSHIP
Chaired and founded by the Hon. Julia Gillard AC, the vision of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) brings together rigorous research, practice and advocacy to better understand and address the causes of women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions across sectors and countries and the way gender negatively impacts the evaluation of women leaders. GIWL seeks to bridge the gap between those who generate evidence, and those who wish to use it. It also seeks to shine light on and amplify existing effective practices and solutions being applied in different countries across the globe. The goal is to break down silos between sectors, nations and approaches and create a community of people focused on advancing women’s leadership.
“Progress on gender equality is not just slow—in some places it is reversing. This lack of movement, combined with the current public debate about how women are treated in workplaces and wider society, means there has never been a better time to tackle these issues head-on. The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership is well-equipped to do so. It works to help create a world in which being a woman is not a barrier to becoming a leader in any field, nor a factor contributing to negative perceptions of an individual’s leadership” – The Hon. Julia Gillard AC
“IT’S IRRESPONSIBLE” to ignore THIS REPORT
An ABC news article highlighted for the first time that companies do better when they appoint more women to leadership positions. The study highlighted in this article, was based on six years of Australian companies’ gender reporting to the federal Workplace Gender Equality Agency and established that companies who appointed a female CEO increased their market value by 5 per cent — worth nearly $80 million to an average ASX200 company. The study is a world first and highlights, “If you’re a member of a board or a CEO or executive and you don’t take notice of what this report is telling you, then you are not meeting your obligation to your shareholders or your owners,” said WGEA director Libby Lyons.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard welcomed the report, saying that in order to achieve gender equality it was first necessary “to measure progress through a rich evidence base, and get that material into the hands of people who can use it to implement change.” “Hopefully the data collected and research undertaken by agencies such WGEA and BCEC which shows the bottom line benefits of diversity spurs greater speed and action.” Ms Gillard now chairs the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership. In addition, Ms Cassells, who was involved in Federal Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee work, said that women tend to have different leadership styles from men, “They tend to be more democratic, they tend to be more collaborative and to have a greater sense of corporate social responsibility. They’re also less likely to participate in fraudulent behaviour.”
WOMEN – ONLY Leadership Programs
McKinsey research shows that, “When women lead, workplaces should listen.” For years, female executives have come away from women-only leadership programs empowered to do—and ask for—more, valuing the opportunity to examine their strengths and shortcomings in the psychological safety of their peers and to use the experience as a springboard for personal development. But organizations are leaving unexamined the most powerful lessons these programs offer.
Most women we interviewed said their organization defined leadership clearly and that it was the traditional, stereotypically masculine style exemplified by the majority of their senior-most male and some female colleagues that was considered the benchmark. In many companies, the commonly held perception was that nothing else counted. A smaller number said that their organization voiced an appreciation of other leadership characteristics, such as listening and collaboration, but negated that message by promoting primarily on the basis of more traditional types of leadership behaviour, such as authoritative decision making, control, and corrective action. Our experience has made abundantly clear to us that women are hesitant, or even unwilling, to point out to their employer the barriers they face at work.
While there are no easy answers, the experiences of participants in women’s leadership programs, and of organizations that embrace the insights they generate, suggest some hallmarks of truly reflective leaders and organizations:
- Reflective leaders and organizations don’t ask employees to adopt leadership traits that are alien to them, Reflective leaders don’t just sponsor women’s leadership-development programs,Reflective organizations reward those who speak up to help the company identify problems—and they don’t underestimate the trust that this requires
Reflective organizations are able to transform themselves into truly inclusive workplaces, taking full advantage of the significant benefits of diverse teams operating at their best. Women-only leadership programs help them get there. Those organizations and their leaders view these programs as far more than “self-help” for women. They see them as windows into overlooked parts of the company, providing a clearer view of the pitfalls and challenges that employees face. Stronger female leaders emerge from these leadership programs—and so do stronger companies.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
McDonald Inc. has a vision to: “Lead 1 million women to have Courage, Step in, Step up and Start up.” Through a compelling need, McDonald Inc. has the solutions and is now taking women’s leadership to the next level. This will help women across the globe become courageous in their lives, careers and through leadership especially in sectors where women are under-represented. Choose one of our programmes to take your leadership to the next level:
- Courage to Step In – getting into and back into workforce – career transitions and helping women back into workforce after a career break or those who don’t have resources
- Courage to Step Up – getting a seat at the table, Courage to Start up – entrepreneurial program ,Courage to Lead – leadership for future of work
- Leadership and Executive Coaching
- And, remember, Leadership starts from within, so grab my latest book FIRST COMES COURAGE!
Get in touch today to learn more about building leadership skills and set yourself up for success!
McDonald Inc. are proud partners of the OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AWARDS 2022! Nominate Today…
Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.