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NEW report tells industry how to ‘change the game’

Thursday, July 12, 2012  
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The Network of Executive Women lays out strategies and tactics for advancing women in the cpg/retail industry in "Changing the Game: Harnessing the Power of Female Talent,” the latest in the Network’s "Best Practices” series.

By recognizing the importance of women to business growth and acknowledging the profound impact unconscious bias has on women’s career trajectories, progressive companies can begin to overhaul their approach to talent management and leverage gender diversity and inclusion for increased profits, according to report co-authors Trudy Bourgeois, president of The Center for Workforce Excellence and designer of the NEW Executive Leaders Forum, and Leslie Traub, chief consulting officer for Cook Ross Inc.

"Today’s workforce needs leaders who can achieve breakthrough results. The strengths of women leaders -- to create collaborative relationships, inform strategy with empathy, respond to nontraditional needs and be effective mentors and sponsors -- are key,” the authors wrote.

Optimizing the contributions of female leaders requires clearly identifying and addressing their barriers to success; actively identifying women as a strategic resource for growing the business; and holding senior leaders, starting with the CEO, accountable for talent management, according to the report.

"Bias, both conscious and unconscious, is still alive and well in organizations, including assumptions about what women want and don’t want in the workplace,” the report noted. "Also, leadership competencies are based on masculine style and leadership history.”

"Changing the Game: Harnessing the Power of Female Talent” offers actions to help leaders become strategically focused on diversity and inclusion, advice on retooling talent management systems, strategies to engage men in gender diversity initiatives and steps to ensure training programs are aligned with gender diversity goals.

"Developing and advancing female leaders is bigger than any one organization’s success,” the report concluded. "It is about sustainability and innovation for the entire consumer products and retail industry.”

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