Women’s Advancement: What Men Aren’t Telling Women (Part 2 of 3)

What Men Aren't Telling Women - Jeffery Tobias Halter - women's advancement and leadership

Is your Leadership team able to manage talent that is NOT LIKE THEMSELVES?

In my last post, I wrote about the three things men won’t reveal to their female colleagues when it comes to women’s advancement. To recap the three things men aren’t saying to women:

  1. “I don’t understand why things need to change. What’s different today that should cause me focus on women?”
  2. “Even if I acknowledge why things needed to change, I don’t know what to change or how to change it.”
  3. “Honestly, I really don’t care. At best I see no value in it. At worst, I may say or do the wrong thing so it’s just plain easier to do nothing.”

Why Women?

Part One focused on putting an economic value on your women’s strategy. We asked five questions designed to move companies and individuals from a conceptual concept to a business operating priority. For starters, companies need to treat women as an Operating Priority i.e. put an economic value on all they do inside and outside the company and recognize the incredible amount of revenue they generate as consumers and co-creators of businesses.

The answer to Part Two is much tougher. It’s the hard wiring of the company; its programs, processes and the culture of the company. It involves Leadership Growth.

Is your Leadership team able to manage talent that is NOT LIKE THEMSELVES?

Most Senior Leadership teams are so insulted they have no idea what the majority of their talent looks like. Consider these facts:

  • 85% of new entries into the work force are women and minorities. Said another way, only 15% of the new work force is white male. 35% of men entering the workforce today are checking the ‘multi-cultured’ box on the census.
  • Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico, California, and the District of Columbia are currently “majority-minority”. Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, New York and Arizona about 40 percent minorities.
  • Sixty percent of master’s degrees and 58% of bachelor’s degrees earned in America today are by women. Not just that, almost half of all MBA graduates in the country are women, according to the book.
  • Also the number major in business schools today is entrepreneurship. Meaning the best and brightest won’t even be applying to your company.
  • Millennials, who organizations believe to be very young, are actually moving into their early thirties.
  • Finally, 10,000 boomers a day, mostly men are leaving the workforce via retirement.

What can you do?

Your leadership team needs to get really good at managing talent that is not like themselves.

In Terms of Talent

Can your organization, its Senior Leadership or more importantly front-line management answer the following questions?

  1. What does our current workforce look like by time of service, gender, race, age, and ethnicity?
  2. How does our current workforce break down the higher up the organization we go?
  3. Are we adequately attracting and retaining new talent to replace retiring knowledge workers?
  4. From where are we sourcing our new talent and are our efforts undertaken with a true “lens” on gender?
  5. What is our retention and advancement rate by gender? How does rate change the higher up the organization we go?

In Terms of Engagement

  1. Do we currently have an engagement strategy in place?
  2. Have we measured engagement by gender, race, tenure, and ethnicity?
  3. How are we holding managers accountable for increasing engagement?
  4. Does our reputation inside and out encourage or discourage engagement and why?
  5. Do we know what programs, policies, and procedures are adding to and detracting from the commitment and passionate involvement of our employees?

Obviously, these questions will have to be tailored for your company and your specific industry, but it will be a great insight on whether your organization is ready for tomorrow, today.

Finally, ask yourself one more question,

when was the last meaningful leadership development training for your company?

Since 2008 managers scopes of responsibilities have increased exponentially, as have the number of direct reports yet most companies have slashed training budgets.

At a recent leadership conference, I heard someone from a major chemical company talk about leadership. She said

The “half-life” of a Leaders skill set today is 3 years. For you non-chemists out there this means you will be basically useless to your organization in less than 5 years. How many people in your organization have out-lived their usefulness.

In Part Three I will explore the final issue about ‘why men need to care’ about advancing women.

What’s working for your company? What questions would you add to this list above? Drop me a line here. If you want to know how others companies have answered these questions download the first chapter of my book Why Women.

HuffPost logoThis post originally appeared in the HuffPost.

Jeffery Tobias Halter is the country’s leading male expert on advancing women and engaging men. He is the President of YWomen, a strategic consulting company focused on engaging men in women’s leadership issues. Jeffery is a TEDx speaker, Huffington Post Blogger and the author of two books, WHY WOMEN, The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men and Selling to Men, Selling to Women. Keep in touch @YWomen.