There is a great imbalance between men and women employees in every organization but not much has been done towards it. According to recent studies, major differences between male and female CEOs are negligible. It seems that once a woman makes it to the chief executive office, they take business seriously and gender considerations fade away.
There are many cultural and political factors which play a role. One of the main reason is: women simply don’t desire to run a big business. Not more than a quarter of senior executives (women) globally, wish to lead large organizations!
Women employees get encouraged by other women
To encourage and promote women employees into senior roles, a woman has to be in leading role of a corporation already. When a woman is at the helm of all corporate affairs, it motivates every single women employee down in the order. It also helps in retention as the policies would be women employee friendly.
Studies reveal that when female executives work for female CEOs, their interest in the top positions jumps to 29%.
While there are some initiatives underway, business leaders should also consider doing more for the cause. Few ideas are shared below:-
1. Encourage and Leverage Leadership Influence
- The influence of industry associations can be used to encourage more women employees to look for positions on boards and connect them with board programs.
- Encouraging active board members to find and support extraordinary candidates for board seats who help with gender diversity can be very useful.
- Bring into use the most connected industry groups to discuss board openings and exchange names of qualified women.
Media Can Act as a Powerful Medium
- Get the media to provide more coverage of relevant industry facts and figures, contributions and achievements of women employees on boards and distinguished practices of companies with diverse boards.
Empower Women With the Weapon of Knowledge
- Hold panel / group discussions and keynote talks with thought leaders and influencers.
- Impart the importance of women in boardroom through schools and colleges.
Amend Board Policies to Encourage Participation by Women
- ‘Diversity’ should be a chief criterion of board composition. It is essential to set goals for women employee representation. For e.g., there can be policies that commit to reserving upcoming openings for women and to have 2-3 women on the list for each vacant position as a minimum.
- Aim to recruit from outside the ‘C-Suite’ which includes current and former CEOs.
- Candidates must be recruited from beyond traditional networks. Professional search firms can be engaged to find board candidates from outside the businesses and instruct them to ensure selection of women candidates.
- Companies must try and ensure ‘nominating committee impartiality’. For e.g. the committee can evaluate CVs without seeing names in order to only focus on skills and not gender.
When there will be more women in board positions, it will bring in other women into leadership unlike anything else. It is self-perpetuating, when women see other women gain success. It envisions them in similar situations and that helps accelerate change.
Accomplished and experienced women are ready to undertake the challenges to become a board member. Increased number of women in a boardroom will be a true representation of nation’s success. Women employee have a wider perspective to
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