Lacking women in upper management? Adopt a development program
- Women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but they still only hold 3% of senior leadership positions at Fortune 500s, reports Huffington Post. It seems the closer women get to leadership roles, the fewer mentors and opportunities they have to learn leadership skills.
- The reasons for the dearth are many, write Angela Grosvenor, an Executive & Leadership Coach at Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching. They include a lack of vision around women in leadership roles, no one to teach the program and the costs associated with such programs. The benefits of having women in leadership, however, include a larger talent pool of female leaders, greater diversity and a more balanced representation of men and women in leadership roles to increase sales. Lastly, when companies close gender gaps, this improves their ability to recruit and retain more talent.
- Leadership development programs for women can include not only foundational leadership topics, but also those areas where women typically struggle such as conflict resolution, negotiation and leveraging personal influence, Grosvenor says.
Women still face unique challenges in their careers, whether from the choices they make or how peers treat them — or some combination. In particular, those challenges can include barriers to leadership roles.
But having more women in leadership roles can deliver various benefits, from female perspectives in decision-making processes to attracting potential clients and talent.
The one-size-fits-all model of some leadership development programs, however, neither encourage nor promote women in leadership roles. A solid leadership learning program designed with women in mind can help to introduce them to future opportunities and possibilities. Diversity is always good for business, and this includes more women in positions of influence and leadership.
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