Today is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is #PressForProgress, an affirmation of growing advocacy, activism and gender equality. It’s a day for not only celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women but also for taking a step back to look at how we move forward from here to make an even greater impact.
The research is clear that despite the commitment to advancing women in the workplace, the progress continues to be too slow and may even be stalling.
We can do better than this. We need to do better than this. In the last year at Verity, we have coached high potential women in leadership positions at all levels, across all industries, and the challenges are overwhelmingly consistent. While work-life balance is a challenge, this issue is not unique to women. Men experience it as a challenge too. What is different is that women – even high performing and high potential women – tend to struggle with their confidence, their desire for approval, a tendency toward perfectionism, self-doubt and their fear of failure. While men experience some of these same challenges, the outcome in how women tend to respond and subsequently position themselves in the workplace is different.
Although organizations continue to invest in leadership development programs, there is a growing understanding that accelerating women in the workplace is going to need a different approach. While traditional leadership development can address skill gaps, these programs don’t get to the core. We need to build programs that empower women to be bold and courageous and this is going to take a combination of coaching, visible male sponsorship, access to female role models, resilience, and building communities to name a few.
Women need to do a better job of supporting women. In January, we had the opportunity to bring fifty remarkable women together for a morning of networking and learning. No barriers. No hierarchy. And the genuine connection in the room was extraordinary as new relationships were cultivated. As we continue to live our mission of making an impact in the lives of others, we will continue to leverage successful female leaders in our practice to pay it forward to other women who are on the rise. As a part of this mission, we built a Women in Leadership program at theLEADhub which is an open enrollment program that focuses on both enabling and empowering women to rise to their potential, find their voice, build credibility, and increase their impact in the workplace. Please join us on the journey, learn more about theLEADhub and claim your 20% off coupon.