Why developing a specific Women Leadership Program ?
Women leadership is recent history !
Leadership programs have been developed historically by and for men: army, industry, politics, high schools…
- 1944: first women’s suffrage in France
- 1968: Women still need their husband’s authorization to obtain a checkbook
- 1972: Polytechnique school allows women to pass the entrance examinations (and HEC in 1973)
It is hardly half a century since women have developed their influence in the decision-making authorities of economic and political life. And they are still under-represented in executive positions :
- 10% of companies have women on their Board
- 3 Women are leaders of a CAC 40 group, 2 of them in non-executive positions
- 14% of CEO are women
- 5% are leaders of international blue chip companies …
For those who have not grown up in an environment where women are recognized and supported, it is difficult to find the legitimacy to climb the ladder of hierarchy. And women are even less well represented and supported internationally:
- -15% of women are expatriate in management positions
- 60% of male spouses refuse to follow their partner, when 89% of women do!
Yet, women in executive positions are recognized to deliver better performance and added value to the organization. Companies with more than 3 women on board have a better organizational and financial performance (+ 30% capital income in 2010) (MSCI Consulting firm specializing in financial indices – 4000 companies – 2015). The survey also found that companies less open to mixing seem to have encountered much more controversy related to governance than the average. Women-led firms would have been more resilient to storms and crisis, resulting in higher profitability. This does not mean of course that men do not have these qualities! But as women are new is the organization, they may have a fresh eye, question habits and bring an astonishment capacity which can be a capacity for progress…
Effective Leadership Behaviors
McKinsey has specified which behaviors could be identified behind the word Leadership:
- Development of individuals and teams *
- Objectives, expectations and recognition *
- Exemplarity, respect, ethics *
- Inspiration, mobilizing and optimistic vision *
- Participatory decision-making *
- Intellectual stimulation, risk-taking and creativity *
- Effective communication, charisma
- Individual Decision Making
- Controls and corrective actions, follow-up, adjustments, penalties
The 5 first behaviors are more frequently observed for women, the 2 last more frequently for men … The 6 asterisks are behaviors that, according to 1,000 leaders, will be the most effective to face the challenges in the future!
Women are still too often considered as too emotional, too close to their teams, too operational, and low self-assertion, political intelligence, risk taking. And the collective liability is so ingrained that many women are unaware of it. They carry limiting beliefs about power, ambition, influence that determine their behavior and sabotage their evolution. Without even realizing it, they give subordination or submission signals which undermine their position as a leader.
Most women believe that it is easier for men:
- To put forward its skills (70% think it is easier for men)
- To be recognized by their peers (70%)
- To make self-promotion (63%)
- To hold an executive position(61%)
- To get a raise or promotion (51%)
Study carried out by OpinionWay with a representative sample of 1,200 employees, 600 female employees and 600 male employees, from 11 to 23 September 2015
It is therefore a question of create their own leadership on the basis of their identity, their expertise and their function without « copying » the male standards in which they do not feel comfortable.
In-Companies Best Practices : some companies are really involved in tend development of women leadership with very good results.
- Establish gender balance indicators
- Focus on women recruitment and promotion
- Promote flexibility, remote work, sharing tools, flexible hours
- Include Leadership Behaviors into appraisals
- Promote continuing training and coaching
And yes, 75% of women say that training has had a positive effect on their leadership and their practices.
Women Leadership program
I have specifically designed for executive women a 6 to 9 month Coaching-Training on-line program to:
- Identify your Leadership Style
- Self evaluate on a specific skill grid
- Clarify your beliefs and identify your talents
- Identify defensive behaviors, self-sabotage and double constraint
- Building and develop your Leadership from the Identity Triangle
- Strengthen your image & your success stories
- Develop personal branding and networking
- Learn to say no and develop meaningful communication