It’s no secret that there is a glaring inequality in the workplace between men and women. Women comprise 50% of middle-management and professional positions but only 30% of that percentile occupy a leadership role. How can women shatter the glass ceiling and reach the positions they’ve worked so fervently to earn? Leaping the gender gap may seem daunting, but employing several small technique changes can shift the balance of gender biast.
In a recent TedTalk, Susan Colantuono, professional motivator and activist for women’s rights, speaks about the downfall that is associated with the mentoring women receive in the office. Whether unconsciously or purposefully, women are oftentimes mentored differently than men. When coached for success, advice given to women usually borders on remaining strong and personally driven, not the subtle intricacies of the business. While valuable advice, executive positions are not filled by well-meaning individuals. It takes an ironclad understanding of the business, the ability to interpret financial information, and a clear grasp of where the company is going to occupy a leadership role. This information, Susan believes, is not being distributed evenly among the sexes.
Though encouraging greatness in others and fostering growth in yourself is not without merit, this advice is usually best for breaking into the business, not establishing a leadership role. Proving a knowledge of business functions and how to implement that knowledge shows an in depth interpretation of a company and its direction. This, according to Susan Colantuono, is the primary piece missing from women’s mentorship and keeping them from achieving a higher number of leadership roles.
There are several steps a business can take to ensure they’re not falling victim to gender neglect. Company leaders must manage their protegee pools to evenly balance the sexes, and if it’s found lacking, examine the root cause. Companies the world over operate under unconscious sexual barriers, preventing their capable women from achieving full potential, and it’s only through awareness of the issue that change can be made.