What Moves Women to the Middle Won’t Take them to the Top!

Posted January 30, 2016 from Uganda

Susan L. Colantuono argues that Leadership manifests differently at every level and the advice and guidance that has moved women into middle management is insufficient for taking them into senior/executive positions. This is why effective leadership development initiatives differ by level. This includes efforts to address the well-researched career derailers for women and how they contribute to the leadership gender gap. By capitalizing on these insights, organizations need to meet their goals for women's advancement and appropriately address the leadership development needs of women.

Having a good understanding of leadership and gender-related derailers is important if an organisation has to successfully help turn derailers into skill building for career enablers. Her focus through Leading Women, is to develop women who are able to move from high potential to high achiever and from woman-in-business to business woman becomes relevant.

“Of all the forces that hold women back, none are as powerful as entrenched beliefs. While companies have worked hard to eliminate overt discrimination, women still face the pernicious force of mindsets that limit opportunity…” McKinsey.

It’s important to note that many scholars agree that managers have mindsets about women and men, about leadership and careers. Many of these mindsets create barriers for women and get in the way of developing top talent and thus the need to help managers (both women and men) take action to minimize gender barriers as the new frontier in women's advancement.

For years, Leading Women tracked research on the ways over 15 mindsets impact talent decisions. 11 of them showed that those that create the greatest barriers to gender neutral advancement vary by country and corporate culture.

Gender dynamics constrain your effectiveness. Whether you call them gender dynamics, hidden biases, unconscious biases or second generation gender biases - gender dynamics matter. No matter how competent women or equalized corporate policies are, gender dynamics create barriers to women's advancement and impede the impact of organisations' talent development initiatives.

Susan Colantuono, is CEO and Founder Leading Women; Author of No Ceiling, No Walls and Make the Most of Mentoring.

This article is based on blog posts from Leading Women.http://www.leadingwomen.biz/

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