How can organizations contribute to the cause and help elevate women to the leadership positions they deserve? There are a number of solutions. Here are some of them:
- Fill the pipeline. Get many more women in positions to be promoted. As more women enter the minority group, people start to notice differences among them and they cease to be “tokens.”
- Make the business case for diversity.
- Root out bias and subtle stereotypes from the hiring and appraisal process, as well as in the organization’s culture.
- Make it easy to network and communicate by co-locating teams, instituting rotational assignments, and sponsoring group training and problem solving events.
- Expand the pool of talent from which your organization recruits. Most women do not toot their own horns — you have to actively look for them.
- Remove the barriers to success. This includes: allowing work groups to establish their own process flow and hours; promoting balance between work and life such as shorter meetings with more breaks; reviewing the reward system to ensure collaboration, fairness and transparency; establishing clear guidelines on job requirements and how promotion decisions are made; providing training in both technical subjects and leadership; encouraging peer support networks; actively promoting mentoring; and reaching deep into the organization to promote promising women.