In this second article of the “beyond the buzz” series, I tackle the still touchy subject of getting more women in top positions in organisations. I say touchy, because even though many start to agree that there are inequalities that need to be addressed, there are still debates, amongst men and women, about whether or not facilitating women’s access to higher positions is fair or makes business sense. Here is my take on this, as usual there is a culture angle to it ;o).
“There should be more women in influential positions”
You probably agree that we need balance, fairness and equity in organisations, but maybe you do not see (our own biases are always difficult to perceive) why your organisation should facilitate women’s access to influential positions.
First and foremost, if you want to be not only an attractive employer by promoting fairness and equity, but you want your organisation to thrive in an uncertain world, you need to shift your culture towards a more balanced one by increasing its ratio of feminine values. My previous article went into more details on that point, so I won’t repeat.
Because women more naturally embody feminine values, fast tracking them by mentoring, actively seeking, coaching, promoting, giving visibility, is one efficient way to rebalance your culture. But most importantly, it is key to get a critical mass of women in these positions to ensure these values will be able to be expressed.
In more influential positions, women can help shift the organizational culture and vision by introducing for example new KPI such as: learning, wider impact on society, environment, future generations. Hence stirring away from quick wins and personal gratification and toward ethical growth, inclusive development and scalable well-being. Read one of Philippe’s very good article about other innovation and business ROI to inspire you further.
Promoting the one “token” woman (or very few – barely respecting a quota) into a group of men will not allow her/them to express feminine values (collaboration, empathy, harmony). She/they will most likely exhibit masculine (competition, heroism, achievement) values in order to survive and thrive in that context.
Critical mass of women in influential positions > More feminine values in your culture > Your organisation can thrive in an uncertain world.