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  • Gaëtane Lenain

Closing the gap between men & women at the top

What are the typical challenges that women in leadership face every day?

A client of mine chose to address this topic for herself some time ago and many of her insights were very much related to the video by Susan Colantuono (see below for the link).

By the way, many of the tripartite sessions I have with female leaders with their N+1 or HR reflect this as well: women leaders are expected to develop their personal greatness (self-confidence, knowledge,…) and ways to empower others, focusing on empowering communication for example but minding the “Heidi Roizen” effect! Rarely do I get to hear about that third pilar of advancement in a company: develop the strategic, business and financial acumen!

What can a person do when facing daily unspoken challenges or hidden road blocks? With my client, we worked hard to:

1. Unveil them and raise her own awareness of what was blocking her. By expressing what happened in uncomfortable moments, trying to understand the words or behaviors of her colleagues, looking for clues of biased decisions and whenever possible validating the conclusion with them.

2. Devise the best course of action to address the challenge. Sometimes, it is about having the courage to call out the biased behavior and raising the colleagues awareness, sometimes it is about finding allies to help you influence your environment. They were most often small actions meant to raise awareness in the workplace.

3. Create a plan involving a course and a mentor within the organization for her to develop her strategic and financial acumen relevant to her company.

And to go further, check out this insightful video (14') about Closing the gap between men & women at the top:


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