If you haven’t heard Abby Wambach’s Commencement address at Barndard College on May 16, 2018, you should. Watch it now.
As a speaker/coach/consultant to women in business, It makes good business sense to raise up more women into positions of power across industries. There are many barriers to women’s success, but none are insurmountable.
Here are a few goals I challenge each business leader and executive team to adopt in 2019
Promote more women
The pay gap is also a promotion gap. Don’t be fooled. Women are passed over for promotions. We aren’t seen as leaders, we aren’t given chances and we are paid less when we do get the job.
According to the 2018 Women in the Workplace study from Mckinsey and LeanIn, “The two biggest drivers of the pipeline are hiring and promotions, and companies are disadvantaging women in these areas from the beginning. Although women earn more bachelor’s degrees than men, they are less likely to be hired into entry-level jobs. At the first critical step up to manager, the disparity widens further. Women are less likely to be hired into manager-level jobs, and they are far less likely to be promoted into them.
in 2019 - I challenge CEOs and business leaders to see potential in your women. Raise them up. Pay them well. Promote them to leadership. Your women are a competitive advantage.
Stop keeping mediocre men in management positions.
Bad managers are bad for business.
According to the HBR article “Why do so many incompetent men become leaders,” “The truth of the matter is that pretty much anywhere in the world men tend to think that they that are much smarter than women. Yet arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent — the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams, and to inspire followers to set aside their selfish agendas in order to work for the common interest of the group.” Women make great leaders. Can you afford to keep that mediocre man in place when you know how much it will cost you?
In 2019 I challenge CEOs to scrutinize your under-performing managers. Bad bosses are costing your business. And right behind that mediocre male boss is probably a set of competent and talented women ready for the job.
Whether we are talking about sexual harassment, abuse, toxic workplaces, bad bosses…it is time to believe women. Women have been disadvantaged and assaulted and humiliated and de-humanized for long enough.
The brave and powerful Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifying against Kavanaugh.
When an employee tells you they have been harassed or mistreated at work, believe her. The all too common story of the woman complaining to HR and getting no support replays over and over again in our companies. Remember Susan Fowler taking on uber or the big payout google gave to its exec after accusations of sexual misconduct. We can and should do better.
In 2019 I challenge CEOs and Boards to believe women, trust women, support women and remove toxic managers, and build cultures of zero tolerance for harassment of any kind.