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How Companies can Help Women Advance in Leadership

How Companies can Help Women Advance in Leadership

In the modern workplace, there’s still an under-representation of women in executive level positions – the small percentage who made it with the right combination of abilities, decisions and actions.


What these stats tell us is that there’s a “broken rung” in the ladder of most organisations. Fixing it will help more women arrive at the c-suite because ambition and individual effort are not enough. 


Here are a few steps that companies can do to fix the broken ladder of succession and give more women opportunities to rise to senior level positions. 


STEP 1 – Aim to train a larger number of qualified women candidates for manager positions

Setting aggressive targets for hiring and promoting women will significantly increase their representation in the corporate ladder. Consider this ratio – “For every 100 men promoted to management, only 72 women were promoted. If women are promoted and hired at the same rate as men, there will be 1M more women in corporate America over the next 5 years.” 

(Source: 2019 McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org ‘Women in the Workplace study) 


STEP 2 – Avoid “tokenism” – having a sole female member in any team just for show 

When women are grossly outnumbered in a group they will be sidelined and ignored. By contrast, having an equal number of men and women will form a cohesive group identity where gender differences become less important and members regard each other in terms of individual ability and contribution.


STEP 3 – Establish fair review and recognition criteria 

Companies need to have the right evaluation processes and tools in place to avoid any bias from sneaking into hiring and performance reviews. For example, collecting objective and measurable feedback are considered generally more informative than arbitrary scales and assessments. 


STEP 4 – Establish family-friendly HR practices  

Support for women as caregivers through flextime, job sharing, telecommuting, childcare, elderly care, etc., provide for an enriching experience at home and in the workplace. Such benefits allow women to thrive in their career ambitions and balance the difficult demands of family life.  


The bottom-line 

Leaders who fix the gender gap in their organisation foster a thriving workplace culture that generates success and wealth of opportunity for all.  


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. 


The Empowered Woman 2020