Women On Boards: A Global Perspective (continued)

Similarly, Australia’s female leadership on boards has been on the rise as they increased their female directors. A fascinating program established at the Australian Institute of Company Directors is credited with contributing to the increase in women’s board leadership. This mentoring program matches seasoned directors and board chairs with up-and-coming, high-potential women leaders to help guide them on their way up the corporate ladder. In addition, Norway has continued to lead the pack in terms of female directors for several years with Sweden and Finland being tied for second, driven by government sponsored gender equality policies.

But hold the applause—not all countries have quite so much good news to share. In fact, overall, the strides women are making globally are far from at parity with men’s achievements in the upper echelons of organizations across the world. Germany, despite having been under the jurisdiction of the first female chancellor, has shown a mixed report in terms of women’s leadership—some growth, but not nearly enough.Female representation on key board committees and in chair positions in Germany is well below average for the industrialized world as a whole (gmiratings.com, 2012). Furthermore, Japan’s lack of gender diversity on boards is downright shocking, lagging at 1.1% female directorship on boards—a statistic virtually unchanged since 2009. Only 11% of companies in Japan have a female on their board.

That brings us to the U.S. Yes, there is reason to feel proud—that we’ve hurdled some important barriers along the way—but, there is also reason to wonder why women’s prevalence in top leadership roles moves at a snail pace, despite all the incredible advantages women bring to the table. The number of women on U.S. boards is now at 16%, a number which has barely moved in recent years. Fortunately, most U.S. boards have at least one female director, but very few board chair seats are held by women. In addition, recent studies have confirmed that women still only earn 77% of what men earn, and that gap is much larger in various parts of the country. In addition, the U.S. government is an area in which women fair particularly poorly. Of the 100 available Senate seats, women hold only 20.

All things considered, the world is a much better place for women then it was 100, 50, even 20 years ago. Women have begun to demand higher pay, better work/life balance, and in the U.S, women are now earning more college degrees then men and beginning to explore fields traditionally underrepresented by women like the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. On the other hand, we’ve got a very long road to go. The importance of women has been poignantly summarized by Hillary Clinton who said, “When we liberate the economic potential of women, we elevate the economic performance of communities, nations, and the world. There is a stimulative and ripple effect that kicks in when women have greater access to jobs and the economic lives of our countries: Greater political stability. Fewer military conflicts. More food. More educational opportunity for children. By harnessing the economic potential of all women, we boost opportunity for all people.”

We, at The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design, remain committed to fighting for the advancement of women to all levels of organizations in the U.S. and around the world. Educating male leaders on how the contributions of women can impact higher ROI, add more stability within organizations, and provide richer, more diverse business outcomes is a key component to women’s advancement. In addition, women are constantly held to a higher standard and must ask for promotions they feel they deserve, speak up in conversations that matter, seek out challenging positions that will garner further opportunities, and identify with sponsors who will advocate for them. Leaving the workforce is not the answer—as hard as the road to the top may be. Women have incredible talent, skills, and knowledge to add to the world we live in today. Staying the course can only more positively impact the next generation of women leaders rising up the ranks.

Are you interested in preparing yourself to be considered for a Board of Director position? If so, you may want to consider participating in TLE/LBD Women On Board exclusive two-day program in partnership with Diversified Search.You can register here.

Executive Leadership Institute for Women (continued)

Six years after inception, the Executive Leadership Institute for Women is going strong and being delivered in several cities annually including NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Dallas and LA.  Participant feedback has been exceptional including comments such as, “One of the most effective parts of the program is the interactive nature – getting to hear other participants’ experiences and having them put into context along with the instructor-led learning.” Another participant felt that “the classroom sessions are fantastic – I’ve never felt so energized or hopeful from a year-long program.” A big component of the program is the networking that women in similar level positions experience, culminating in the development of life-long relationships.

The Executive Leadership Institute for Women is an economical solution for providing sound instruction in leadership development, throughout an entire year, for valued female senior employees who aspire to greater roles and responsibilities. To learn more about the KPMG Executive Leadership Institute for Women, check out the program brochure or contact Michelle Jurkiewicz atmjurkiewicz@the-leaders-edge.com The next NYC program begins April 23, 2015.

Significance of Impact & Presence (continued)

The fact that 90% of a first impression is determined by your visual and vocal behaviors is something that may seem unfair, however, it is a reality in the workplace. Molly D. Shepard reminds us that “when we walk into a room, eyes are on us, and if we don’t look like a leader, we may not be heard, or others may not listen to what we have to say.”

A few reminders regarding your visual message include being aware of:

  • Facial expressions: Is it evident what you are feeling annoyed, tired or bored?
  • Good posture: Are you squaring your shoulders?
  • Handshake: We hope it is a firm one!
  • Smile: Do you greet people with a smile or do you always have a “poker face”?
  • Culture: Are you looking around to assess the cultural dress at client site to align with their “look”?
  • Do you appear put together and polished? – shoes polished, unchipped nail polish, appropriate makeup and hair, wrinkle free clothing and the right underpinnings?
  • Do you know that your handbag, portfolio and coat make a statement as you walk into the room?

A few reminders regarding your message:

  • Are you speaking too fast?
  • Do you speak too softly?
  • Do you use filler words (um, like, you know?)
  • Do your statements sound like questions?
  • Do you control your emotions, avoiding whining and complaining?
    During our various presentations on Impact and Presence we share how to effectively establish ourselves at meetings, focusing on the combination of visual, vocal and verbal behaviors that reflects our personal “brand.” Ask yourself if you are presenting in a way that you want to be perceived by others. Look around and observe the style and behaviors of successful women whom you admire. Identify attributes you want try out, and potentially integrate into your own executive presence. If you are not sure, reach out to a trusted friend, colleague or mentor and (be brave!) ask for that special gift of feedback. Remember, you’ve spent countless hours getting educated, honing skills, and staying competitive. Don’t overlook your “visual resume.” Image is a critical piece of the package!

Do you need help with your Executive Impact and Presence? Our coaching protocol incorporates this important issue. But if you need a quick refresher, consider joining us at ournetworking and event held in partnership with Ellie Tahari at 501 Fifth Avenue, NYC on December 4th from 5:00 – 8:00pm by contacting Michelle Jurkiewicz at mjurkiewicz@the-leaders-edge.com

Assessing for Success: The Hogan Series (continued)

The Hogan is a unique compilation of psychometric evaluations that can be used for a variety of talent management needs, including candidate selection, succession planning and predicting job performance. It consists of a three-part on-line assessment: the Hogan Personality Inventory, the Hogan Development Survey and the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory. These assessments allow leaders to gain insight into their personality characteristics, performance risks and potential challenges, and core values, goals, and interests. All of these qualities can be compared with an organization’s competencies or with the description of a particular position.

Our coaches frequently use the Hogan and other personality and cognitive assessments to evaluate individuals for a number of reasons:

  • To develop leaders for advanced positions by assessing their strengths and development opportunities and building an individual development plan to increase their capabilities for a current or new role
  • In providing a standardized method of comparing potential internal and external candidates for a leadership position
  • To discover valuable indicators of an individual’s potential for future success

A recent report from the Hogan Research Division stated that only 44% of human resources professionals employ formal processes to identify an employee’s leadership potential. When paired with coaching, Hogan assessments offer a dynamic edge to the leadership development process that cannot be created artificially.

A Case Study…

Recently, a client in the pharmaceutical industry enlisted a TLE/LBD coach to work with a top-performing executive. The executive was skilled at “getting things done” and working strategically to meet business goals; however, the executive’s ability to develop a team needed improvement. The management team wanted to make an investment to ensure that the executive could make the maximum contribution possible.

The Hogan was administered and the results revealed that the executive was a “driver” who put more emphasis on objectives than relationships. With this revelation, the coach and the executive worked together to create a stakeholder plan along with a strategy for establishing relationships with colleagues. Since administering the Hogan and incorporating it into the coaching process, the executive’s manager has reported that the executive has been more conscientious in building a team and fostering a supportive environment.

TLE/LBD has found the Hogan Leadership Assessment Series to be one the most comprehensive, in-depth assessments to gain insight into an executive’s personality and leadership style. If you are interested in learning more about how using the Hogan assessments can benefit your organization, please contact ­­­­­­­­­­Judy McHugh at jmchugh@the-leaders-edge.com.