We’re in a critical moment when it comes to advancing women in the workplace. Leaders in most companies agree that women’s leadership is worth pursuing. They’ve given the green light for women’s initiatives and programs. Yet, the number of women in senior leadership and C-Suite positions is largely unchanged over the past decade. Why? I believe the lack of progress is due to a lack of male engagement and a lack of understanding regarding why women are a critical component to any organization’s strategy and bottom line.
Coaching professional women for the past eight years, and as a former corporate vice president myself, I’ve witnessed first-hand the communication challenges that block women from being heard, appreciated, respected, valued and promoted.
I swear, columnists are getting on my very last nerve. I would pull my hair out if it weren’t too short for me to grab. Once, while I was waiting to get my hair cut, I read yet another list telling me what women of color need to have or do to progress in corporate America.
"What advice do you for a young woman who wants to be well positioned for a career — not just a job — in retail?"
"Women promoted to executive roles at my company seem to do little to sponsor other women. Why is that?"
Being intentional about what you want to accomplish is essential for anyone seeking leadership, but in my experience it can play out differently for women than for men.
We often hear of companies that talk the diversity and inclusion talk, but fail to walk the walk. Workplace change won’t happen if the people at the top are not "inclusionist” leaders who create cultures where people love to do their best work and customers love to do business.
Have you ever wondered if playing the game of office politics is necessary to be successful?
I can’t wait for women of color to become, you know, women. Currently, we are very clear when we refer to non-white women.
"What can I do to improve my communication skills and present myself more confidently at work during brainstorming sessions and other meetings?"
Companies can grow dramatically and increase their market share when they bring together people who are different from each other and provide opportunities for them to share their varied experiences and bring their unique perspectives to problem solving and new product development.