I am not sure if this train is even moving based on what I see and hear. Women in the workplace are still underrepresented at all levels. With all that has been taking place the last while with harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and downright condescending behaviour it is no wonder that gender diversity hasn’t advanced at all. What a shame as I think back over my career of all the absolutely intelligent and gifted women I had the pleasure to work with and we are losing out on some great talent. I think of all the wonderful women that I have the honor to spend time with in a mentoring relationship and I see so much untapped talent that is not being developed and utilized in organizations.
I think of one organization that promoted one of their managers to a very senior role in a male dominated industry. That sound pretty good so far doesn’t it? Well that was where the good news end. The new executive was not allowed to move into the office assigned for that position with no explanation. This is an employee that helps others without having to be asked, that works lots of extra time to get key functions done and even cuts holidays short in order to make sure there is no disruption in service. Still not in the new office. Now I know this may sound picky but it is the first step to creating an imbalance in the organization as to how people are treated.
When you look at the research and then gaze into some organizations you see that the male view of the landscape is most definitely skewed. Men appear to be less committed to gender diversity efforts.
What I have seen and most definitely with the work that I am doing in the mentoring space that we can get the train moving again. Here is an excerpt from the second reference listed below that shows the power that mentoring can have in getting the gender diversity train moving:
“Now I’m the CEO at a leading global education group. In my role, I mentor a number of young people. And as the only African-American female chief executive of a Fortune 1000 company, I feel a special responsibility to mentor and sponsor women — particularly those from minority backgrounds — to help them achieve the sort of professional success I’ve enjoyed. I take immense satisfaction in witnessing all of my mentees’ professional progression and personal growth.”
We need to see more stories like this and less of what we have been seeing. If you want to make a difference and see gender diversity moving forward then you seriously need to consider the implementation of a mentor movement within your organization. On a personal level you can source out a mentor to spend time with you as you don’t have to wait for your organization. This article clearly outlines the benefits of doing so.
Gender diversity is everyone’s challenge and together we can change the landscape to make sure that it is fair and equitable for all.
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