I admit it. I'm confused.
According to the recently published (and excellent) McKinsey report commissioned by LeanIn.org, Women in the Workplace 2017, it states that, contrary to recent years where modest progress was made towards greater female representation in leadership, it appears it may have stalled in 2017. Between 2016 and 2017, there has no more than 1% change in female representation in the talent pipeline at various levels of corporate America, and in fact, a reduction of 3% at SVP level.
The World Economic Forum reported this week too that the global gender gap widened in 2017 for the first time in 11 years, reflecting a downturn in economic progress. I guess it takes more commitment to be progressive in an environment that's not.
And no wonder.
McKinsey found that men think women are doing better than they really are. Nearly 50% of men think women are well-represented in leadership where one in ten senior leaders is a woman....
But get this...
A third of women think the same thing - that women are well-represented in leadership where one in ten senior leaders is a woman.
How can we be more present in leadership when 50% of men and 30% of our sisters feel 10% female representation at senior level of a portion of the global population that is virtually 50/50 is deemed adequate?
I've heard it from potential clients myself. Apparently, "...women aren't good at leadership." Hey, it was one woman's view, but I was bowled over by it. It highlights that having women in leadership is an uncomfortable thought for a lot of people, and it will take a lot of getting used to.
And I just don't understand it.
Women are the natural gate-keepers in relationships. We are self-aware, and we connect with others. Those are critical skills in ALL relationships - at home, or at work in a close-knit team. We have the power and the skill to get people to "play nicely together", with our compassion, drive, and passion - provided we're not running scared and protecting ourselves. Let's face it - we spend more time at work than at home, so why would our power to bring people together and lead them be any different in the workplace?
Self-awareness and the power to connect with people are skills that are even more important in a world where a lot of the work will be done by robots very, very shortly. It's called emotional intelligence and we have shedloads of the stuff.
Look, I don't have the answer to cracking this snail-pace of change in diversity we're experiencing...not yet; but I do know one thing...
Be yourself. Be a woman. Be a leader - whether you have a title or not.
"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" AA Milne
PS: Are you ready to uncover that power and confidence that will take you places? Book a call with me and let's discuss where you are now, where you'd like to be, and how we can get you there #womanlyartofleadership