Men still rule the workplace. Not a big surprise. According to Zenger Folkman’s latest research study, 64% of the leadership in high performing organizations is composed of men, and there are even more men in charge as rank level goes up. Yet the study notes that women were reviewed higher than men on more than just “nurturing” capabilities. They were rated increasingly higher as the leadership level increased.
Yet women still don’t feel set in their leadership appointments. There is a constant pressure to compete with other men in the organization and to prove they are worthy of the position.
The main takeaway of this study is not gender-based but about the qualities and overall work these women are generating. The general bias that only men are capable of providing the same return on investment (in terms of employee deliverables) is erroneous. Both men and women need to have the confidence and astuteness to create a gender-balanced leadership team.
- Sit at the table: No one gets the corner office when they sit at the side, instead of owning their own success and actively taking part in meetings and decisions.
- Make your partner your partner: “If a woman and a man work full time and have a child, the woman does 2x housework and 3x the childcare. (In addition), there is more pressure on boys to succeed than the girls.” You and your partner are in this together, so talk it through.
- Don’t leave before you leave: Sandberg uses the example of a woman considering having a child. From that moment, many women follow the same pattern and stop looking for promotions or new projects to work on. “What happens when you quietly lean back…you’ll get bored…keep your foot on the gas pedal until you do need to leave.”
She goes on to say that “Women systematically underestimate their own abilities…women do not negotiate for themselves in the workplace.” So are women hurting themselves by not being more proactive? However, if you fast forward to about 8:30 in her talk, you’ll see that confident women still face a bias among their peers. So which is it? How do we increase the number of women leading organizations around the world?
I would love to hear your comments.