3 Ways We Fail Women Leaders

Less than 15% of young women leaders see the executive women in their organizations as good role models.

55% said they aren’t satisfied with the leadership development opportunities offered by their company.

Only 15% in companies with leadership training feel the training they receive is preparing them for their next position.

What does that say about our ability to develop our next generation of women leaders?

It's not exactly a powerful picture, now is it?

So why haven't we stepped up to address this gap? Especially since ~60% of companies agreed that leadership succession planning is more challenging in today's economy.

We're StuckSay what? How can we be stuck when more women than ever are moving into the leadership ranks, and at younger ages?

Here are three reasons we haven't stepped up to fully support the next generation of women leaders (and younger men too, for that matter.)
  1. Tradition. The majority of our leadership development is based on traditional business, psychology and culture. That means we're teaching decades old approaches based on male-dominated cultures. The Solution? Step out of the status quo when it comes to our thinking about leadership in general, and more specifically about the humans we all lead in business. Modern science has discovered amazing insights into human decision-making and behaviors. So how about we Actually Use It?
  2. Tradition. Most development training programs available today are focused on developing the unique leadership skills of men. Even though we all know that women are very different than men. The Solution? Let's develop leadership programs that focus on women's unique skills. Lets take advantage of women's emotional intelligence, 360 degree perspectives and our collaborative skills, to name a few.
  3. Tradition. We assume that young women leaders have the same perspectives as traditional women leaders. NOT EVEN. Modern women want to do it differently. They want to balance their personal and professional lives (yes!). They want to be about more than making profit for their organization.(yes again!) The Solution? Just as we have to focus on our customers' needs for our products and services, it's about time we focus on the unique needs of young women leaders for development program.
Tradition may have been great for Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof. In this case it's holding us back. Big time.

The Bottom Line It's time we upgraded our thinking around leadership and the next generation. To apply modern insights and deliver the professional development our next generation wants and needs.

Along the way, we can also pivot our perspectives on our people, from decades old psychology to fresh modern approaches that fuel productive, satisfied and loyal employees.

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