Ever tried climbing a ladder that had a step missing? It’s difficult, right?
Well, according to the Women in the Workplace 2019 study, there is a “broken rung” or a gap in the succession line of women at first level management positions.
The leadership ladder, it seems, is missing a step and is proving difficult to climb for women.
According to the authors, “fixing it will set off a positive chain reaction across the entire pipeline. As more women become managers, there will be more women to promote and hire at each subsequent level. Put another way, more entry-level women will rise to management, and more women in management will rise to senior leadership.”
In a previous post (Forget Mentors. What Women Need Are Sponsors.), we identified “sponsorship” as a key strategy to get more women to advance in leadership roles.
But what more can be done to fix the broken rung that is keeping women from reaching top level positions in companies?
Sponsorship is a fantastic example of how women in senior positions can help those rising through the ranks (it’s a concept that gets discussed a lot at our Women in Leadership Summits)
But the great news is that everyone, regardless of seniority or gender, can do something to influence diversity in favor of more women rising in your organisation’s hierarchy.
Here are 4 practices you can implement right now.
1. Refer more qualified women candidates
60% of successful hires come from referrals. Actively support your company’s hiring and promotion efforts by referring more qualified women in first-level management positions. Your leaders will surely appreciate your loyalty and regard you as someone who is fully invested in the company’s future success.
2. Nominate more female co-workers for advancement opportunities and initiatives
Studies have revealed that women generally hesitate to put themselves forward when there’s an opportunity for a promotion, a high-profile initiative or any chance to shine in the workplace. Give your overlooked but talented coworker her much deserved kudos. Sing her praises every chance you get for your leaders to take notice.
3. Speak up against unfair bias
No matter where you are in your organisation, you should feel safe to call out bias and act accordingly when you see it. Consequently, you should feel empowered to objectively question policies and systems like performance evaluations, if you observe them to be biased and unfair to women.
4. Start a peer-to-peer training initiative
Training is crucial in preparing women for management roles. If your company does not provide structured training to support and grow a pipeline of female talent, band together and organise a group on your own. Women helping each other to advance their leadership education is an effective way to get the experience they need, raise their profile and be tapped for leadership opportunities.
Australia’s pioneering businesswomen are coming together to help more women rise the corporate ladder or start and grow their own company. Join them by reserving your spot for The Empowered Woman Summit 2020 on 26th March.