I was very interested to read some of the statistics below on weareequals.org* as part of International Women’s Day. Let me say before anyone gets riled up that I am not advocating that women leaders take over the world (fun experiment though that may be!), just that we have more balanced leadership. If Talent Dynamics has taught me one thing, it’s to truly appreciate the value our differences of all types bring to business (and life!).
- No women – even Oprah with her TV show, production company, the book club and web phenomenon – is in the top 10 on Forbes Rich List
- Almost half of women managers in customer facing jobs like restaurants, shops and salons gave up being managers after becoming mothers so they could find part-time work – of course they ended up being paid less.
- 96% of executive directors of the UK’s Top 100 Companies are men
- In the UK the full-time gender wage gap is 15.5%. This is like men being paid for a full year while women effectively work for free after 2 November. And it gets worse the higher up the tree you go… Women in the city get paid a third less than men.
- Only 16 of the world’s 188 directly elected leaders are women. In fact, Rwanda, Angola, East Timor and Macedonia have a more representative parliament than the UK.
- Female-led councils in India have 62% more drinking water projects than male-led councils. Also, women leaders often invest a lot more in areas that impact on health and education.
Pssst… read to the end of this article for a special offer for women leaders that results in some effective giving…
Why does this happen?
Many women leaders will miss out on promotion and training because of gender discrimination – often so subtle that men would be surprised they were doing it – and because they often shoulder the bulk of family commitments. My coaching experience also shows me that some women are their own worst enemy in terms of lacking self-esteem and/or not speaking up enough about their achievements.
Men have been in charge of politics, religion, trade unions, the film industry, the art world, etc for centuries. It is going to take time before we see a world with an equal balance of male and female leaders and decision makers.
Why should you care?
Women’s higher earnings and bargaining power translate into more investment in children’s education, health and nutrition and this means economic growth in the long-term. What’s good for women leaders is good for their country and their children too.
According to research in Women Lead The Way by Linda Tarr-Whelan a critical mass of 30% women leaders is required in any company or institution for real change to take place in the decisions being made. This is where a more balanced leadership – both men and women leaders – are likely to avoid the types of decisions that lead to the financial crisis and that support benefits such as:
- Higher financial performance and better bottom lines
- Increased opportunities for women to go higher on the career ladder
- Improved policies for women and families
- A fresh perspective and a willingness to find new answers to problems old and new
What could you do about it?
While there are many things you could do such as join women’s groups, campaigning, networking or even getting into politics, I see that for those women leaders in business there are great benefits in becoming more intrapreneurial.
Most people think intrapreneurship is all about innovation and creating new products and divisions, so they don’t always think of themselves as intrapreneurs – especially women leaders. Intrapreneurship is more than innovation – innovation is only one way to add value to an organisation. The leaders and managers who are most successful often have high levels of business acumen and are very clear about how they and their team(s) add value to their organisation. They take ownership for the organisation’s growth and success and can demonstrate the valuable financial impact they make. This is what I call being a modern intrapreneur.
Modern intrapreneurs are in flow because they and their team are using the strategies that suit their individual strengths so truly effective teamwork is a reality, not just a dream. A deep practical understanding of the two key ways to add value and then leverage it effectively to easily add at least hundreds of thousands to the bottom line. Being in flow as women leaders means that you get to have less stress, more fun and more time because you are no longer struggling to paddle upstream.
As a female leader imagine the difference all this would make to your career – and your home life! Imagine being so clear on the value that you and your team(s) bring to the organisation (financially as well as otherwise) that you can highlight your accomplishments without bragging. Imagine the increase in earnings and benefits that you could achieve. Imagine the increased influence you could have and what you could then do with that influence for you, your organisation’s employees, your community and other women…
An International Women’s Day Special Offer for women leaders
A starting point in all this is to firstly know and understand your own Talent Dynamics profile so that you can pinpoint the strategies best suited to your particular blend of strengths. So in honour of International Women’s Day and to support the progress of women leaders, I’d like to offer you a discounted strategy session that includes your Talent Dynamics profile.
In addition to getting a £197 session for only £150, I’m going to donate £50 for each of these sessions to The Hunger Project or charity of your choice.
(I particularly like The Hunger Project as it teaches people – often women – how to help themselves instead of depending on aid.) During the month of March I’ll do 10 of these special sessions, so that would be £500 to charity.
To access this offer simply email me una[at]unadoyle.com with ‘IWD offer’ in the subject line or call me on 07766 917890. As long as you book and pay (via PayPal) in March you can take the session in March, April or May. Be quick though! I’d hate for you to miss out! And more importantly, I’d hate for the people in your life to miss out on the impact of the changes you could make as a result…
PS I won’t discriminate against men who would like to take up this offer as you’ve bothered to read this article and obviously care enough that I know that this session will also positively impact the women you encounter at work and in your personal life too.