Top of the AGender: Equality

Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

“Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world. The numbers tell the story quite clearly… Women systematically underestimate their own abilities… Women do not negotiate for themselves in the workforce… And most importantly, men attribute their success to themselves and women attribute it to other external factors... What the data shows is that success and likeability are positively correlated for men, and negatively correlated for women” - Sheryl Sandberg, TED Women, 2010

With the American presidential election upon us, the World awaits to hear who will take position in arguably the most significant leadership post the globe has to offer.

It turns out that there is nothing like a global pandemic for highlighting leadership inadequacies, with some of the world’s most significant leaders demonstrating arrogance and a lack of willingness to accept expert scientific advice to inform their decision-making. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that Americans have been steadily, but surely, losing faith in a president who has spread mis-information and shown a dismissiveness about COVID-19 that has undoubtedly led to the deaths of American citizens.

Women like New Zealand’s recently re-elected Jacinda Ardern, are demonstrating the power of female leadership. Her recent landslide victory comes from her values-driven, compassionate and emotionally intelligent approach to leading her country through turbulent times. From her sensitive dealings with the Christchurch shootings, and the aftermath of terrorism, to her decisive handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, the world has watched a woman lead with grace, empathy and reassurance.

It takes courage and strength to be empathetic, and I am very proudly an empathetic and compassionate leader. I am trying to chart a different path, and that will attract criticism, but I can only be true to myself and the form of leadership I believe in” - Jacinda Ardern

Women are the world’s greatest resource and now, more than ever, is our time to question our approach to ensuring gender equality at the top of professional ladders. A recent study (Mercer, 2020) of more than 1,100 world-wide organisations, shows women to take up only 23% of Executive positions. In many countries, the picture is far worse, with women of colour being woefully mis-represented; In India, women hold only 2% of CEO roles. This is despite research showing the importance of typically female characteristics (collaboration, empathy, emotional intelligence) in leadership roles.

The 2020 Women in the Workplace study, by McKinsey and Company, shows that many industries fail to attract women at entry level (Engineering, IT and telecoms). Maybe even more stark, is the fact that every industry in America fails to proportionally advance women into middle management or senior leadership roles. Even in industries where women predominate at entry level, they are not converting to leadership positions later. For example, in American Healthcare, 75% of entry-level workers are female. One might expect, in an equitable society, to see a similar figure of women moving into leadership positions in the same industry, but the figure drops to a woeful 29% of women in the top jobs.

I am on a mission to help professional women break down global societal barriers, combat their fears, develop self-belief, celebrate their successes and totally nail life and leadership. We have a long way to go to an equitable society, so valuing and empowering our girls to be leaders of the future is a priority. I coach professional women for transformation in life and leadership, empowering them to leap equality hurdles, value wellbeing, transcend current circumstances and achieve greatness as women leaders. The world needs you, women leaders…



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