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It’s about what managers and leaders do everyday
The catalyst for elevating women in organisations comes down to what managers and leaders do every day according to a new study published by talent development and transition company Lee Hecht Harrison. The daily behaviours of the people managers who are known champions of female talent have the greatest impact on an organisation’s ability to get and keep women in their leadership pipelines.
The new study from LHH points to the frustration organisations are experiencing in their ability to address this issue and highlights what’s required to create the inclusive workplaces needed for women to advance. The findings show that 58% of companies believed advancing women is a critical business issue yet 76% of those organisations were unsatisfied with their ability to demonstrate the individual actions, organisational practices and cultural attributes that cultivate gender diversity and elevate women in leadership.
The top five behaviours that people leaders demonstrate to champion female talent that make a real difference are:
- Provide coaching and feedback that builds business acumen
- Support flexibility to manage work schedules or location of work
- Provide equal access to meaningful stretch projects that are tied to strategic business objectives
- Give females exposure and profile to senior leaders and decision makers
- Recruit and promote from a diverse pool of candidates
Caroline Pfeiffer Marinho, Executive Vice President, EMEA for Lee Hecht Harrison, said,
Champions of female talent were twice as likely to demonstrate these behaviours to a very high degree compared to other people managers. We know that leaders shape culture. And when you need your culture to shift, you need to hold your leaders accountable to act in the desired ways.
Pfeiffer Marinho added,
In times of talent scarcity, you simply cannot choose to ignore or even exclude 50% of a potential talent pool – woman. Organisations have been investing in women and in organisational practices for decades, but with little results. Knowing that one of the key catalysts for elevating women is the behaviours of people leaders, organisations now have a clear business imperative to develop more champions of female talent, who shape an inclusive culture, making it possible for women, and consequently businesses, to thrive.