REGISTER NOW TO ATTEND Warrior Women at Work is a unique, interactive Women’s Leadership event designed by Women in the City in partnership with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. The evening will bring together senior female leaders from a variety of backgrounds to share, discuss, compare and contrast their leadership challenges. Our Keynote Speaker will […]
Warrior Women at Work is a unique, interactive Women’s Leadership event designed by Women in the City in partnership with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. The evening will bring together senior female leaders from a variety of backgrounds to share, discuss, compare and contrast their leadership challenges.
Our Keynote Speaker will be Major General Susan Ridge, the first female to hold the rank of major general in the British Army. A solicitor, she served as Director General of the Army Legal Services Branch from September 2015 to July 2019.
Susan will be joined by a panel made up of:
- Annette Andrews, HR Director, Lloyd’s
- Claire Bowler, Partner, Head of the Insurance Sector, Head of International Claims Team, DWF and a Women in the City, Woman of Achievement Category Award Winner
- Commandant Philippa Lorimer MBE, Commanding Officer, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps)
|Date:||25 September 2019|
|Location:||The Old Library, Lloyd’s, One Lime Street, EC3M 7HA|
|Time:||18.30 – 20.30|
|18.30||Mix & Mingle Reception|
|19.00||Welcome and Introductions|
|Keynote Speaker and Panel Interview|
This event is open to women and men. Refreshments will be served.
The evening is brought to you in partnership with:
|ABF The Soldiers’ Charity was formed in 1944, at the height of World War Two. Its purpose has not changed since that day: to ensure that all soldiers, veterans and their immediate families can live a life of independence and dignity.
While there is a British Army, there will be The Soldiers’ Charity.
And is sponsored by:
Careers expert Zena Everett is an executive coach, author and an in-demand speaker on career management and productivity. Here she talks about how to spot and stop burnout in your teams – and yourself.
Don’t wait for a sickness note or resignation for proof of burnout in your teams. Here’s some warning signs to look out for and some prevention strategies.
Burnout is defined as a ‘state of vital exhaustion’. How do you know if you are genuinely exhausted with work rather than depressed? A depressed person will take their black dog with them wherever they go. Burnout, on the other hand, is confined to work. Get away from your desk (and your boss) and up a mountain, on a beach, or wherever you go to decompress, and your energy and mood will be restored.
To state the obvious, people should NOT burn out, take a break, return to work and repeat the pattern (although I know some who do). That’s bonkers from any angle: career, psychological, physical or family.
Your job as a manager is to ensure that your team members are happy, engaged and productive (all three feed into the other). Burned-out colleagues are none of these. What are the warning behaviours? Here’s two canaries in the coalmine I look for when coaching:
Burnout Sign #1: Reduced productivity.
Your high performing, perfectionist, people-pleasing, nothing-is-ever-good-enough-for-me, piece of expensive Talent ceases to deliver. They work even longer hours but the standard of their tasks tails off. Talk to them about it. Say that you have noticed the changes and ask what they think is going on. It could be that they are just bored and need more responsibilities. Or they could be overwhelmed by their workload and their own relentless drive to excel. Those are predictors of burnout. Coach them to manage the demands of their role and the pressure they put on themselves.
Burnout Sign #2: Cynicism.
This varies from an increasingly apathetic approach to the job, when people fall prey to office and digital distractions, to downright pessimism about the impact of their work. You’ll hear previously positive people make snidey comments about the customers, other team members, other departments, or senior management. ‘What’s the point anyway, nothing changes around here,’ ‘I don’t mind teaching, it’s just the parents and the children that spoil it’, ‘not him again, what does he want this time?’ etc. It’s sort of funny in the moment, but it’s not actually. Negativity and disengagement will drive more motivated team members away. It’s certainly not enabling a collaborative culture that screams service, success and energy.
What can you do to prevent burnout happening and restore resilience? Step up to the plate and actively help your people to do their best work in a healthier way.
Restore the boundaries.
Employees are happiest and most motivated when they make daily, incremental progress towards their goals.* That’s all it takes! Allow them to get their meaningful work done – with clear role descriptions, targets, performance metrics, deadlines, training and all the resources they need.
Then get out of their way.
When I meet stressed-out people they are often overloaded with pointless projects, routine administration, complicated reporting systems, badly-thought out management initiatives and lengthy meeting schedules. All of these are obstacles to real work. Be brave. Re-evaluate the output you expect from people and clarify how they can achieve it. Then cut out everything else that takes up their time. They’ll thank you for asking some hard questions and challenging fatty work cultures that inhibit productivity. ‘Why are we doing this? Is there a better, more efficient way of achieving the same result?’
Walk the talk.
You are a role model for high and healthy performance. If you are rushing from one meeting to another, snapping at people, over-promising and under-delivering and working stupid hours, then you’ve no time to step back, listen, think strategically and nip problems in the bud before they escalate.
Delegate, manage upwards, push back, re-negotiate and say No.
All of these are crucial yet basic leadership skills. Don’t send out of hours emails (save them in your draft folder or use the timed sending facility if you really must write them), or finesse tasks that don’t need finessing (that power-point deck is just fine). I hear of so many managers who CREATE stress.
- Get proper training on the granular details of managing work-flow.
- Only hold meetings that are absolutely necessary, keep to an agenda and don’t let anyone waffle.
- Be on time.
- Look like you can cope with more responsibility, not that you are about to combust.
Disconnect and build real connections.
No one can be ON all the time. Do less but think more: you’ll be more valuable that way. You rarely get your best ideas in the office.
- Encourage your people to take their holidays.
- Exercise. Breathe.
- Find a hobby or a challenge outside work that nourishes you.
- Take a real lunch break and eat with your team.
- Talk, don’t email.
Someone said at one of my recent Crazy Busy™ sessions that the only creative thing their Creative Director did was create email chains.
Reward results, not presenteeism.
Flexible working is a no-brainer. Trust people with the freedom to do their work in the most appropriate place and don’t be petty about checking up on them. There is no correlation between long hours cultures and productivity, quite the opposite. A sense of control over where and how we do our best work is a crucial aspect to motivation.
Build co-worker support systems.
Eating together, talking about how to improve processes, doing pre- and post-mortems, building in planning time, asking for support and advice. I’m not sure that hackneyed team-bonding initiatives like away days are as effective as regular, shorter team pow-wows when you can really communicate, allow everyone’s voice to be heard and get solutions from the people at the front line. Problems don’t get solved by paint-balling.
*Conclusion of a reassuring three-year study by Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School on how to create forward momentum with clear goals, autonomy and a genuinely respectful culture. It confirms what your management instincts have been trying to tell you: HR interventions that work are lean, honest and relatively obvious. Read her book with Steven Kramer, The Progress Principle: Using small wins to ignite job, engagement and creativity at work.
I hope that’s helpful and I’d love your feedback and experiences. As ever, please feel free to share with anyone you think would benefit.
Pick up the phone if I can help build resilience and coping strategies with my executive coaching or if you need a lively, practical speaker on career management or productivity topics at your next conference.
Phone: +44 20 3287 9505 | Mobile: +44 (0) 7968 424650
Your session was great – informative, interactive, fun and engaging, can’t ask for more! ICAEW SME Conference Organiser
Here’s my short animation on how to stop our brains getting so frazzled
Click HERE for details of sessions I can run in your business
(This is a WiC promotion on behalf of Zena Everett)
Enough talk. We’ve heard it all before. Let’s just do it!
These words, a tweet from @LaraOyedele popped into my timeline in response to an article in Diversity Woman Magazine which revealed that, according to research by Bank of America Merill Lynch, “Gender equality can lead companies to make more money.”
This revelation is by no means ground-breaking. Our Knowledge Bank is full of research documents saying the same thing. Yet
Gender pay gap set to last for 36 years
Recent research by Easymoney suggests that the pay gap between top earners is unlikely to close until 2055. The research found that 79% of the 860,000 people earning over £100k pa are men. This has fallen only marginally since 2011, when 83% of the top earners were men.
Academics Geraldine Healy, Queen Mary University of London and Mostak Ahamed, University of Sussex have taken an in-depth look at the Financial Services Sector and identified that women, on average, earn 27.2% less than men an hour, whilst the bonus gap is nearly 50% (and 79% at Barclays).
Moreover, the lack of progress of women in Financial Services is a global phenomenon. IMF chief, Christine Lagarde said at Davos: “The numbers are just appalling … you have 20% of board members and 2% of CEOs who are women.”
2019 Pay Gap reporting reveals poor progress
This year’s Pay Gap figures indicate that far from the pay gap narrowing in the past year, it’s widened with four in ten private companies reporting wider gaps than last year. Surely it’s time for companies to publish Action Plans alongside data and narrative.
The pace of change is slow – let’s change that!
At a recent Lunch, I sat with 3 other women. By pure coincidence we were aged 75, 65, 55 and 45. Our conversation turned to the progress of women in the workplace. We concluded that (1) regrettably there has been much less progress than any of us anticipated and (2) none of us thought at the age of 25 that we’d be saying this 20, 30, 40, 50 years later.
Yes, it’s time to be a bit more Lara – LET’S JUST DO IT!
A third of largest charities ‘have all-white senior leadership teams and boards’
Green Park has released new research reviewing the diversity in Major UK Charities which has found that more than a third (34) of the largest 100 UK charities by turnover have no ethno-cultural diversity in their senior leadership team.
- Only 8.1% of senior positions in the largest 100 UK charities are held by ethnic minority leaders and at the most senior level of Chair, CEO and CFO this drops to 6.2%
- While 41% of senior positions in the top 100 UK Charities are held by women, female representation in the Top 3 roles of Chair, CEO and CFO is significantly less at just 27.5%
- Women hold just 23% of Chair positions across the largest 100 UK charities
The Green Park ‘Third Sector Leadership 2,000’ examines the backgrounds of 1,866 individuals in total. The aggregate analysis of the cohort by gender and ethno-cultural background is derived from a sophisticated software, using a database of 1.2 billion individual records globally.
The analysis highlights that the largest charitable institutions have incredibly limited ethno-cultural representation at the highest levels of management, with 92% of the senior leadership team being white. Only 8.1% of senior positions in the largest 100 UK charities are held by ethnic minority leaders and at the most senior level of Chair, CEO and CFO this drops to 6.2%.
Women hold only 41% of senior leadership positions in leading UK charities, despite representing 51% of the UK population. At the Top 3 level, this is even less at just 27.5%, demonstrating that there may still be a glass ceiling holding women back from the most senior decision-making roles. With 77% of Chair positions currently being held by men; the role of Chair is the most male-dominated of the Top 3 roles.
This is the fourth year of the Green Park Leadership Series, and the first Leadership 2,000 report specifically written for the Voluntary Sector. The sample is carefully designed to allow meaningful comparison with the Top 3 and Top 20 levels of The Green Park Leadership 10,000, which analyses equivalent senior leaders in FTSE 100 companies, and The Green Park Leadership 5,000, which looks at Public Sector leaders.
The report examines the backgrounds of 1,866 individuals working in the largest 100 UK charities (Major UK Charities), categorised by annual turnover and broken down into 10 sub-sectors.
Equality in the solicitor profession is moving closer
The Law Society of England and Wales currently estimates that more than a third of law firms in England and Wales are majority-owned by women.
Speaking on International Women’s Day (8.3.18) president Robert Bourns said:
The proportion of law firms majority-owned by women far outstrips the national estimate of women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs), reflecting the changing culture in the legal sector.
As the professional body for solicitors, we see real power in diversity and support progress for the best, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, so our profession reflects the population it serves.
We also know that businesses benefit from strong diversity and inclusion policies and practices that help attract both clients and the best talent.
An estimated 34% of the 9,403 law firms in England and Wales in 2015 were majority-owned by women, compared to a national estimate of women-owned SMEs of 21%
For the past 20 years, women have accounted for more than half of new entrants to the profession (61.1% in 2015), so the proportion of Practising Certificate (PC) holders who are female is set to increase for the foreseeable future
Moreover, women graduated with more first and upper second law degrees (71.1% ) than men (65.2%)
Despite the steady increase in the number of female entrants to the profession, however, they account for only 28.8% of partners. A recent survey undertaken ahead of a wider programme of work during Christina Blacklaws’ presidency of the Law Society in 2018-19 seeks to understand progress, barriers and support remedies.
Unconscious bias in the legal profession is the most commonly identified barrier to career progression for women, while flexible working is seen as a remedy by an overwhelming 91% of respondents to our survey.
Interestingly, while half of all respondents said they thought there had been progress on gender equality over the last five years, there was a significant difference in perception by gender with 74% of men reporting progress in gender equality compared to only 48% of women.
Key findings from the survey
- 7,781 people responded to the Law Society’s Women in the Law survey (5,758 women, 554 men and 1,469 unknown or other)
- 74% of men and 48% of women reported progress on gender equality in the last 5 years (overall 50%)
- Main barriers to career progression perceived as:
– Unconscious bias (52%); however, only 11% said unconscious bias training is consistently carried out in their organisation
– Unacceptable work/life balance demanded to reach senior levels (49%)
– Traditional networks/routes to promotion are male orientated (46%)
– Current resistance to flexible working practices (41%)
- 91% of respondents said flexible working is critical to improving diversity
- 52% work in an organisation where flexible working is in place
- 60% are aware of gender pay gap in their place of work
- Only 16% see visible steps taken to address gender pay gap