Five Friday Highlights: Women Winning at Work

Working Women

Each post I chose to highlight this week somehow relates to how women can succeed. This week, the public discourse has been driven by a visual album about infidelity and a presidential candidate claiming that a female candidate’s “woman card” was too influential on what people thought of her. I chose pieces from different perspectives and I really can’t help wondering how it would go if the authors of these articles were in a room together!

When the New York Post ran I Want All the Perks of Maternity Leave — Without Having Any Kids, social media lit up with reactions to the concept of a “MEternity leave.” The author concludes that, “Work-life balance is tough for everyone, and it happens most when parents and nonparents support and don’t judge each other,” but en route to that balanced conclusion, the author stirred up the ire of many readers. Take a look at the comments and you’ll see!

Maybe the people grappling with the questions raised by the author of the preceding article would benefit from the in-depth discussion summarized in The Future of Women in Business: A Discussion on Gender Parity with Leading Women in Business Today from Ellevate. I love the passage about having “the courageous conversation.” We’ll have to have many courageous conversations in order to achieve gender parity.

Similarly, Breaking Through: Stories and Best Practices from Companies That Help Women Succeed in Huffpost Women is a book excerpt that ultimately asks, “given the proven importance of networking, why do women continue to lag behind?” This book needs to be on our lists.

Lightening things up just a bit, I enjoyed Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Jobs: 7 Leadership Tips and Career Smarts from the Laugh-Out-Loud Memoir by Tina Fey from Sharp Heels. My favorite takeaway was “it is important to be a team player, but likability is not the endgame at the workplace.”

In Winner’s Mentality from Femfessionals, Jessica Passman shared her advice for cultivating a winner’s mentality. “Every mistake is an opportunity to grow,” she reminds. She is so right!

Have you had an experience related to gender parity that has taught you or raised additional questions? Email me by clicking here to let me know!

Image Credit: 123rf/Carlos Santa Maria

Five Friday Highlights: Gender Parity

Gender Parity

Were you involved in any International Women’s Day (IWD) observances earlier this month? This year’s observance included the #PledgeForParity campaign, which encouraged participants to put gender parity on the agenda on International Women’s Day and beyond. One of today’s featured articles was released specifically for IWD. The others weren’t targeted to the day of observance, but still address important issues of equity and parity.

On International Women’s Day, Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines published Equality is Not Just Women’s Business. Noting that “the World Economic Forum predicts that it will take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity,” Branson explained what his company is doing to make gender parity a reality. He wrote, “Business can and must do so much more to promote equality, respect and fairness. Removing barriers like discrimination and divisions is a necessity for business success. At Virgin, we have … created an environment where all people can thrive – because of who they are, not in spite of it.”

Every individual, female OR male, can make a difference for #GenderParity! ~ {TWEET THIS}

It was a bold statement for Shell United States to proclaim “a new era in supplier diversity openness and transparency has begun” when they introduced their new Shell Supplier Diversity website. Although supplier diversity is a different genre than gender or cultural diversity, by its nature it requires an organization to think differently and to set definitive goals for itself. Shell proclaims it will provide “a storehouse of information, both specific to the energy industry and more general and applicable to working with any multi-national.” It will be interesting to see what happens!

It’s important to note that the very definition of diversity varies depending on perspective. In Millennials Have a Different Definition of Diversity and Inclusion from Fast Company, Lydia Dishman analyzed the results of a study from Deloitte and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI). Dishman summarized the authors’ advice to leaders: they should “remember that what brought diversity into their company isn’t the same as what it will take to support that talent.”

The Time-Consuming Activities That Stall Women’s Careers from the Harvard Business Review explained that women face a “triple whammy” when trying to find the right balance when managing their time commitments at home and work. The triple whammy includes housework, actual time at work, and the way they spend their time at the office. Most importantly, author Rebecca Shambaugh provided four steps women can take to allocate their time more effectively in order to advance professionally.

I was impressed with this article stating that a strategy will close the gender gap, not that it may close the gender gap! Kristy Wallace of Ellevate explained why senior management engagement is so critical. Creating an Employee Executive Board Will Close the Gender Gap in Business makes the case for a group different than a diversity “committee.” It recommends “an independent internal committee that convenes key stakeholders — the Corporate Board of Directors, senior leadership, clients and employees” — a board with sufficient executive authority to set corporate goals and dictate measures that can move organizations toward those goals.

Did you read something this week that gave you hope for gender parity? I would love to hear about it! Click here to email me with your recommendations!