So in my final post for International Women’s Day, I am going to consider the issue of Imposter Syndrome, which can have a dramatic impact on a woman’s ambition. It used to be thought of as the domain of the high woman achiever. However, it is a syndrome also experienced by men, although originally was only identified in women and it was felt was far more prevalent amongst women than men. Amy Cuddy in her book ‘Presence’ talks about it being a female issue rather than a male issue as men are far less likely to talk about it for fear of social punishment for failing to conform to social stereotypes, i.e. that men are assertive and confident. Clance and Imes, the two psychologists who originally termed the condition found in their clinical experience that it occurs much less frequently in men and when it does occur, it is far less intense. However, more recent research published by the International Journal of Behavioural Science in 2011, shows that 70% of men and women have experienced it at some point in their lives. Millennial’s may suffer from Imposter Syndrome even more as they have commenced their careers at a time of extreme technological pace, where there are constant comparisons on social media between peer group members. Continue reading →
In my second article leading up to International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2017 I am considering how despite all the time, money and great intentions which have been put into building a more diverse talent pipeline in many organisations, there are still some basic barriers, which have not been removed and get in the way of women feeling and being more upwardly mobile. A Bain Study in 2015 illustrates that an employee’s early employment experience influences their confidence in whether to actively pursue a C-suite career or not. Some of the erosion of or challenges facing ambition come down to factors such as whether women are perceived as ‘ideal workers’, whether they are getting sufficient support from their own direct supervisor, the organisation’s leadership development process and the dearth of real role models. These types of barriers can be explored and supported through coaching and mentoring relationships. Continue reading →
Welcome to the first in a series of three articles as we lead up to International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2017, in which we consider the issue of ambition for women. Ambition still seems to be an obstacle for some women when developing their careers. Women’s presence on the Board has been proved to add competitive advantage to an organisation and despite there being roughly the same numbers of women and men in the workforce, there is still an unbalanced ratio in favour of men in more senior leadership roles. In the last two decades, many employers have shown enthusiastic commitment to gender diversity and women have made enormous strides in being able to compete on the same playing field as men at work, so what is going on? Continue reading →
It is widely accepted that mentoring benefits organisations and employees in a number of ways, and that setting up a programme is much more cost effective than bringing in external support. The question is, how to begin?
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I am saddened at the number of organisations that are still obviously male dominated and operate with an underlying patriarchal undertone, even with the enormous effort that has been put into creating equality in the workplace and publicity around the very positive impacts of having gender balance in senior leadership.