In July, Alexia Vernon and HRDQ-U hosted a free webinar entitled, Develop a Robust Female Leadership Pipeline. Branded a “Moxie Maven” by the White House for her unique and effective approach to women’s leadership development, Alexia Vernon is the Founder and Director of Influencer Academy, a 9-month program for female leaders seeking to cultivate their skills in public speaking, persuasion, negotiation, coaching, facilitation, and high impact interpersonal communication.
Over 275 people registered to listen to the webinar live and it was a big hit. Click here to watch it now!
“Enjoy these educational session as they are time-user friendly.”
“Great topic and great speaker. I really enjoyed this one.”
In this interactive webinar, Vernon demystified what emerging female leaders need—with respect to mentoring, coaching, and skill development—in order to be competitive and succeed in more senior leadership positions. She presented research and real-world examples as well as provided actionable recommendations for addressing women’s perceived lack of ambition, confidence, and skill.
A recent study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) reveals that within a year after graduating from college, Gen Y women are already earning $7600/year less than their male counterparts. And why is that? Because they are not negotiating. They are afraid. And fear of negotiation is symptomatic of a much larger problem.
We need to reset our thinking and behavior.
We tend to make many assumptions. For example, “pay equity will create leadership equity”. In reality, pay equity is just one piece of retaining high potential women.
Here is another example of an assumption. “High potential women need more female role models and mentors.” In reality, high potential women (just like high potential men) need champions and sponsors (as well as mentors) who are female AND male.
Vernon pointed out here that a mentor is someone who shares a career trajectory and offers advice, but that’s where it ends. A champion or a sponsor, on the other hand, actively helps emerging leaders.
Do you have a mentor or a champion? Are you fortunate enough to have both?
As for the assumptions, they are not always wrong, but they are certainly not the full story. They are just a piece of the puzzle.
Assumption: Cultivating a female leadership pipeline is “the right thing to do.” Well, that is not the full story. It is not like telling a child to brush his or her teeth or telling a hotel guest to reuse their towels. Those are seen as the “right” thing to do. Whereas cultivating a strong female leadership pipeline make sound business sense. It’s that simple!
Companies with three or more women in top leadership positions achieve higher scores for each criterion of organizational effectiveness than do companies with few or no women at the top.
In it’s 2012 report, “Women at the Wheel,” Dow Jones conducted a study of venture-backed companies and concluded that companies have a greater chance of going public, operating profitably, or being sold for more money than they’ve raised when they have females acting as founders, board members, C-level officers, vice presidents, and/or directors. We know that for sure.
Here are some ways to get clear on our leadership priorities:
- Create a culture conducive to female retention and leadership
- Communicate leadership opportunities (and be transparent in decision making process)
- Establish and strengthen leadership development programs to address women’s often unmet needs
- Avoid the pitfalls that can undermine good intentions
Want to learn more about how your company and culture can empower women? Are you interested in how to identify high potential women? Do you want to understand the five most important leadership competencies? If you said yes to any of those questions, click here now and the answers will be revealed.
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