A Roadmap to Reframe Women’s Leadership Advancement

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IBM study finds that to thrive organizations must prioritize advancing women – and all historically under-represented groups.

A new global study from the IBM Institute for Business Value and Chief offers a roadmap for sustainable progress for advancing women.

Fewer than half (45%) of organizations surveyed report they have made advancing more women into leadership roles a top, formal business priority.

The leadership pipeline for women has hollowed out in the middle, according to a new global study “Women in leadership: Why perception outpaces the pipeline—and what to do about it” from the IBM Institute for Business Value and Chief.

Kelly Chambliss, Senior Vice President and COO, IBM Consulting, noted, “To thrive in a rapidly changing world, organizations must prioritize advancing women – and all historically under-represented groups – and take action to challenge structural barriers and unconscious bias.”

I’m honored to be joining IBM for a #womenshistorymonth program where we will delve deeper into the study and their roadmap for sustainable progress based on leadership practices gathered from the research findings, including:

  • Reframe women’s leadership advancement in the language of business results, such as quantifying the concrete economic gains that can accrue from righting gender imbalances and creating an integrated plan.
  • Give your strategy teeth, such as putting specific directives and measures behind your organization’s action plan, like setting measurable goals for women’s advancement.
  • Enact an action plan aimed at driving gender equity across the full leadership pipeline, like going beyond awareness training to using experiential learning techniques like role-playing and reverse mentoring to help shift biases.
  • Re-design roles at the top that work for top talent, for example, limiting hiring criteria to a core set of gender-neutral requirements.

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Image: Bigstock/Natee Meepian