What’s the #1 myth about gender equity?
Better yet, recognise and promote women on their potential.
WHAT’S THE #1 MYTH ABOUT GENDER EQUITY?
That if we just focus on building confidence in women then everything will be AOK. And while confidence and gender is a fascinating subject, when we just blame the women or make it a problem that women have to fix in themselves, we then miss out on actioning a range of even more powerful tactics that will truly move the dial.
So here are six tactics that we all can try over and above confidence boosting that will definitely help.
1. DOOR OPENING & INTRODUCTIONS
Given women’s networks are mostly on the ‘outer’, and 80% of decision makers are male, introductions and access to movers, shakers and decision makers will go a long way.
Then open doors for women to plum assignments and opportunities that will help them create a track record.
Research tells us that men are promoted on their potential while women are promoted on their track record.
Help women more easily create that track record or better yet, recognise and promote them on their potential.
2. CHAMPION & SPONSOR
Women need advocates, champions and sponsors in high places.
Speak up for and recommend women as well as men, and while you’re at it spruik the value of gender equity as well.
If we’ve learned anything over the last 50 years it’s that gender equity won’t happen by accident. It will be by design. Own your part in this process.
3. RECTIFY PAY INEQUITY
One of my clients discovered inadvertently that she was being paid $200K+ less than a male peer, despite her being groomed for the CEO role.
Yet when she raised it she was told it was complicated and encouraged not to rock the boat.
Not only is this against the law in many countries, but disenfranchises women everywhere and derails gender equity at it’s core.
Equal pay is equal pay. Just fix it. Don’t over complicate it.
4. ENSURE FAIR AIR TO SHARE & THAT FEMALE VOICE IS HEARD
So many of the women I work with tell me that they are frustrated by not being heard, especially in masculine dominated work environments. And, let’s face it, leadership is a masculine dominated work environment in most sectors, ironically, even in some female dominated industries.
Women speak up, yet are spoken over. They suggest ideas only to be ignored,
but when the idea is later suggested by a male peer, the idea is adopted.
Instead, adopt fair air to share policies so that everyone gets a say, and create and ensure an environment where female voice is actually heard.
5. CALL OUT BIAS
Put simply, bias is bad for business and robs people of their potential, yet is often so deeply entrenched that we feel helpless to do anything.
One thing you can do is if you see it, call it out. And it doesn’t have to be in an antagonistic way.
To paraphrase Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison “The double standards we walk past are the double standards we accept”.
Once again, play your part.
6. FLEXIBILITY ALL ROUND
I recently met a new dad about to take six months parental leave.
Given that out of sight is so often out of mind and is concerning for many women, I asked him about potential detrimental impact to his career ……. but he wasn’t worried.
Instead he boasted that he worked for a progressive company who encouraged flexibility and offered paid parental leave no matter the gender.
He couldn’t speak highly enough of them –
- How great it was to work there, that they had great representation of women throughout the company (despite it being in a traditionally masculine dominated field),
- That he’d been there for more than 10 years (and this longevity wasn’t unusual) and
- Their exemplary track record in attracting and retaining diverse talent.
Flexibility isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone.
Talent goes where it’s wanted.
Don’t just stand for gender equity, insist upon it.
It’s not just good for business but good for everyone.
#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #ICreateSheroes
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