“Gender shouldn’t matter, but…” Alexia Panayiotou University of Cyprus 27 June, 2012 HBR study 2011 (Zenger and Folkman) O Survey of 7280 US company leaders O We know very few women at top posts and that underrepresented in specific functional areas of the organization; also stereotypes about expectations, but… O Women at every level perceived by bosses, colleagues, and their direct reports as “superior” on ¾ of the competencies considered crucial for superior leadership effectiveness (360-evaluations) Disparities even more stark in the aggregate at the extremes… So what is going on? O Maybe makeup pool (ie more male engineers than women) O Also maybe women at top from an extremely selective population O BUT surely to some extent these numbers are also reflective of upper management’s subjective beliefs about how each person would perform in these roles– beliefs not backed up by data! O So what do we take away: women excel when given the opportunity, but so do men in nontraditional roles when they must “prove selves” 2011 UK Sex and Power Survey O In UK’s 26,000 most powerful posts according to Equality and Human Rights Commission, women missing even if more women than men graduating from uni (also better degrees) O But with unemployment on the rise also missing out at other end also O Why?: “part-time work, inflexible orgs, outdated working patterns, but also women less likely to build networks, focus on career and spend time on their own PR” O So structural inequalities that start from day 1! “The glass cliff” O Can stereotypes be turned around? O Experiments by Bruckmuller and Branscombe (2011): when a company is doing well, people prefer male leaders or those with stereotypically male characteristics; if bad, they prefer women to turn things around ( in real life, Fiorina at HP. Now Meg Whitman, also Carol Bartz at yahoo, Kate Swann at WHSmith) O Also, when get used to female lead, no need for change O Question: Can we use the crisis to our benefit? Sobering numbers O Only 15 of Fortune 500 companies are headed by O O O O O women Women only 14.4% of senior executives in Fortune 500 companies (according to Catalyst, an NGO focusing on women in the workplace) That number barely budged since 2005 after ten years of slow but steady decreases In EU, only 13.7% women on major company boards (Brussels target is 40%!) In Cyprus about 12% women in managerial positions So, does voluntary adherence to targets work? A closer look O Mc Kinsey report: O 53%F/47%M gender balance at entry O was followed by a drop to 35%F/65%M at director level O then 24%F/76%M at senior VP O ended 19%F/81%M in the C-suite O no glass ceiling but rather preference that starts early in careers! O So must look at this middle and listen to women’s voices! Demand-Supply framework O Why are there so few women in leadership positions? O A demand problem: discrimination (but with a new name and face) O A supply problem: women not coming forward (but why?) O Can also look at pay gap as an example– glass ceiling, sticky floors, glass walls “Entrenched sexism” O Social norms are gendered: O for ex., men tend to be promoted based on promise, O O O O O but women must prove themselves multiple times unintentional bias in review systems (think of an ideal candidate as “aggressive”) all male committees Even linguistic styles (Deborrah Tannen) no networks; no one to “vouch” for women– women are undermentored and undersponsored In Ibarra’s study of 700 MBA grads of top bus schools, a mentor in 2008 meant promotion in 2010-- but only for men. So women need sponsors! How hard to push? O Quotas? Norway 2008, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy followed and EU Commissioner Viviane Reding is pushing hard O Power of investors? recently NY City public pension fund nudged Goldman Sachs and MetLife to disclose their gender balance stats (they have millions of shares in these comps)– pretty bad! Why should companies care? “Studies have shown the benefits of a diverse work force on company performance and longterm shareowner value, and many companies say they are making serious efforts to recruit, retain and promote women and minorities. But without quantitative disclosure, shareholders have no way to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts.” — John Liu, NYC controller Why should companies care? O Numbers! Workers needed. By 2040 Europe will have a shortfall of 24 million workers; raising number of women cuts gap to 3 mil O In US baby boomers retiring means large numbers of senior execs will retire at same time O Mismatch of skills- in UK 70% of women with tech background not working in the field although yet there is dearth of workers in IT and engineering O EC study showed 58% of companies with diversity training programs had higher productivity due to improved employee motivation and efficiency; 62% said it helped them attract and retain high talent And… O Company performance: comps with 3 or more women on senior mngt teams scored higher on 9 important organizational criteria (McKinsey study 2011) O Also better financial performance (data from 1500 US comps 1992-2006); ie return on assets, return on equity, etc So what can be done? O Companies must commit! O Difference between awareness and action: managers must be held accountable O Mentors ok but… O Sponsors: protegees? Make this an integral part of culture so no misunderstandings, esp in regard to sexual dynamics O Self promotion as crucial skill: “get angry!” (Sylvia Hewlett of Center for Work-Life Policy) And more… O Rethink HR: ie don’t focus on hires 28-35, a common practice O Rethink advertising: replacing a photo in an ad by an EU technical sales-oriented company increased applications from women by 5 to 40% O Watch the language: aggressiveness and competitiveness vs enthusiasm and innovation O Use data to create transparency and challenge entrenched mind sets (ie Shell, part of performance appraisal) And even more… O The role of mentors: what does this mean? O Measurement and accountability: explicit indicators O Retention rates: can you still have a life? O Flexible hours O Child care leaves O Coaching to ease the return Reframe diversity as a strategy issue!