C-Suite – Dottie Herman



Many would say that it is a difficult time for women. I would argue that there is no better time to be a woman.

Why aren’t there more high-level female executives? It’s not due to a lack of desire. A recent Gallup study found that 45 percent of women express interest in becoming a CEO or holding another position in senior management or leadership. It’s the women who are very determined who have the greatest potential to meet their goal. And yet, those who check every box may still be overlooked for the male counterpart.

Even worse, A recent Forbes article indicated, “The pandemic set women back by decades. In fact, it has been referred to as a “she-cession” rather than a recession, since women have been disproportionally affected economically and in leadership ranks. Layoffs impacted women much more during the pandemic.”

Companies can and must commit to advancing and empowering women. And that must be driven from the top. How we, as leaders, drive change that has a lasting impact requires strategy, focus and a plan.

Companies with inclusive and diverse cultures are better positioned to adapt, grow, and thrive in a changing business environment. After all, innovation stems from collaboration and the sharing of unique ideas and different perspectives. Moreover, research has shown that diverse workforces outperform their standardized counterparts. Different perspectives, experiences and insights improve decision-making and lead to better performance. For most organizations, what’s good for women is good for the whole workforce.

In a time of unprecedented business change, it’s not enough to rely on what’s always been done. Companies need to think differently about how to create new opportunities for women who aspire to lead. One possibility: Rather than wait for a man to step down from the company’s board of directors in order to add a woman, increase the total number of board seats to accommodate a new female director.

Mentors can be extremely effective when it comes to personal and career growth. Companies can encourage women — in fact, all employees — to find mentors or coaches to help them develop their skills and build their career paths.

Another idea to promote women in the workplace is to create advisory boards to enhance career opportunities for women and drive local and national initiatives that support, advance, retain and reward women.

We are in an interesting time now. There is a lot of focus on women in the workplace. The diversity agenda is under fire and women are at the core of it; equal pay, equal opportunity, women on boards.

Many would say that it is a difficult time for women. I would argue that there is no better time to be a woman.

Yes, it is challenging; yes, it is hard; yes, there are stats to prove all of this – but there is also opportunity, an opportunity to lead as women in business.

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