Archive for March, 2011

Why are women still paid less than their male counterparts for equal success at the same job?

March 11, 2011

Does the glass ceiling still exist for women in management?

Do you believe you are underneath a glass ceiling, looking up and wishing you could break through?

This is an area that seems to have contradictory evidence both supporting and denying that such a ceiling still exists. A news report published back in 2003 stated that women were beginning to gain equal pay. But another survey that was performed only last month (February 2011) indicated that a full 73% of female managers still believed in the glass ceiling.

In truth, the idea of a glass ceiling may or may not be true depending on certain circumstances:

  • The specific company a woman works in
  • The sector of business a woman works in
  • The colleagues and bosses she is surrounded by
  • And perhaps even the thoughts and beliefs of the female manager herself

Cataylst’s March 2011 research confirms the lack of progress with only 14.4% of executive officers of Fortune 500 companies are women, and an even more dismal 2.2% are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

It may seem bleak in the progress of business equality, but there are signs that businesses are now recognising the importance and need for their executive teams to be comprised of or even lead by women.

The concept of the glass ceiling seems to be very much in the news at the moment. It will be interesting to see if any other surveys are published on the topic in the near future.

Does marriage impede your chances of becoming a manager?

Apparently they could do if you are a woman. According to figures released towards the end of 2010, it seems that almost three quarters of male managers were married at the time they were surveyed. In contrast, just under sixty per cent of women were married if they were in a manager’s job.

This is an interesting statistic, revealing that there is perhaps a bigger gap between male managers who are married and female managers who are married. A similar picture was revealed when it came to whether or not there were children in the family.

But is this to do with the actual workplace being less amenable to female managers? Or is it perhaps due to the fact that it is more often down to the woman to look after the children?

Either way it provides some interesting food for thought – both for female managers and for those who wish to ascend the ladder.

Tip one – Focus on dividing your work and home life

For anyone to be a successful manager it is vital that they can divide their work and home life effectively. This is particularly true for women though, where they may have kids to think about as well.

It may help to get a diary or chart so that you can block out your time each day. Block out your working hours and then add in the specific tasks around it that form part of your home life.

Think about how to delegate better – particularly at work, but also at home – so you can enjoy a more balanced life on the whole.

Tip two – Learn how to cope in a male orientated workplace

Some jobs and sectors have done more to introduce more female managers than others. If you are one of the first in your workplace, don’t be surprised if you meet with some hostility or even just a cool reception.

Learn how you can interact with different people in different ways. Men act and react differently to situations than women do – it’s in all our genetics and DNA. Finding out how to cope with men as well as women could mean you are able to handle the job more successfully and manage your team better as well. See our Women as Manager and Women as Leader programs.

Tip three – Learn how to de-stress – what works for you?

We all need to de-stress. But female managers may come up against more stressors than men do in certain situations.

Find ways to de-stress that really appeal to you. Take advantage of some downtime each and every day that is just for YOU. What would you do to feel better and more relaxed each day?

Enquire about our Understanding and Managing Stress Program.

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How to become an accountable leader

March 1, 2011

Great leaders accept responsibility for delivering the results that matter to them and their organisation. They do not hide behind excuses, scapegoats or indecision. Rather, they harness the multitude of resources they have at their disposal to turn desires into realities.

Bruna Martinuzzi has offered the following tips on how you can become a successful accountable leader.

1. Taking time to reflect on how your actions are viewed by all stakeholders: your direct reports, your peers, your clients. Go through a formal 360 Leadership Assessment process or simply get hold of a leadership assessment form and use it to reflect on how others in your team would rate you on each dimension.

2. At the end of each day, take the time to go over your day.
Think about the significant activities in your day. Are you proud of the way you conducted yourself? Could you improve?  This will inspire you to plan your next day around your highest purpose. Getting into this habit of introspection will pay dividends in the long run.

3. Decide to hold yourself accountable for developing other leaders. By mentoring a protégé to enhance their personal and professional growth, you strengthen your own leadership skills and reinforce your determination to be self-accountable as you become the model.

4. When something goes wrong, look inwardly for solutions. It is especially in difficult times that our self-accountability is challenged. Ensure you are well equipped to deal with challenges and controversy.

5. When a mistake is made, do you ask: “Whose fault is it?” or do you say: “What can we learn from this?” It is important to move away from the blame game and take ownership of issues.

6. Think about promises you make to new hires during the interviewing courtship period. In our zeal to want to attract the brightest and most talented, we can easily over promise. Keep a record of your interview notes and what you promised to candidates. If subsequent events make it impossible to keep the promises, at least you can address them with the individual. This is better than forgetting about them altogether.

7. What about promises you made to yourself? Write out your personal and professional goals with clear targets. Read them once a week. Use these to spur you into action.

8. Think about what you are avoiding doing. Is there anything that you are avoiding doing that needs to be done? For example, are you putting off a difficult conversation? Are you delaying any important decisions? Are you delegating away responsibilities that should stay in your court?

Self-accountability, then, is staying true to ourselves despite difficult circumstances. It’s doing the right thing even when we are tempted to bend a few rules for expediency’s sake.