Reflections on Ten Years

Five things companies are getting right and five areas that need improvement

Ten years ago, I launched YWomen with a focused mission to help organizations recruit, retain and advance women and a goal to create more conversations about engaging men in advancing women at work. What an incredible journey it has been!

As I have noted previously if we can’t talk about and address gender inequalities in the workplace how are we going to tackle the myriad of other inequities and systemic challenges. During my tenure in corporate sales and later in diversity training, I came to understand that fixing women, and asking them to lean in or encouraging them to act more like men would not solve the systemic inequities and biases that exist within organizations and people. What is needed is awareness, accountability and advocacy.

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By my estimation, I’ve spoken to close to 100,000 people (men and women) about advancing women and engaging men through my keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, and executive briefings. My new goal is to reach over 1,000,000 people during the next five years.

This is an achievable goal–and I want to invite you to join me in this work. Together, we can expand the conversation to produce a ripple effect that launches more conversations and continued dialogue, both within companies and with our peers. Over the next few weeks, I will publish a series of articles to serve as a springboard for these conversations.  Let’s begin by assessing the current landscape with a focus on ten topics, five of which are big wins and five sad misses.

I encourage you to use this series to talk about the success and losses that you have experienced at your company. There is one simple metric.

  • Reflect back on the progress of your company, and ask one question: do you have significantly more women and other underrepresented groups in upper and senior leadership than you did ten years ago?

In the coming weeks, we will examine the five things companies are getting right and the five areas that need improvement if we are going to create real organizational change.

Five Things Companies are Getting Right

  1. Acknowledging male allyship is critical
  2. Shifting to a lens of intersectionality/race/gender +/age/ableism
  3. Winning the war for talent
  4. Accountability and transparency
  5. Leading with empathy

Five Areas That Need Improvement

  1. Lack of end-to-end strategy
  2. Failure to truly understand your customer
  3. Lack of accountability
  4. Lack of CEO commitment and the diminished role of the CDO
  5. Committing to action

Your Free Gift

Finally, if you haven’t done so, please download my free 10-year celebration gift to you, a year’s worth of FREE BRG Programming, a $1,000 value. If you have already taken advantage of this, please share the link with your friends and colleagues in other BRGs so that they can take advantage.

Downloading this free tool, and sharing it with your BRG, your company and friends and colleagues is how you can help me accomplish my goal of starting 1,000,000 gender equity conversations!

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