Women in Leadership Blogs

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The higher risk of domestic & family violence during self or forced isolation. What your organisation needs to be aware of

2020-03-19T11:46:10+11:00

In this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be serious knock on effects felt by all. Some more obvious and pronounced than others. One serious impact which may not be so obvious but needs to be spoken about is Domestic and Family Violence (DFV). According to the United Nations, the most dangerous place for women is their home. It is way too early to gather data on any increase in DFV related to COVID-19 but what we know from every crisis (war, bushfires, major national events) is that DFV increases. Often the reporting of this violence comes out once the crisis has ended and it is safer for women to access support, so we won’t know the real impact of COVID-19 on the safety of women and their children until well after this has all died down. This is a unique case though where a because of the crisis, victims and their perpetrators are being asked (in some cases forced) to stay at home. For many victims the workplace is their only refuge from violence. We are already seeing heightened levels of angst, even anger, for what were once simple, stress-free tasks such as going to the [...]

The higher risk of domestic & family violence during self or forced isolation. What your organisation needs to be aware of2020-03-19T11:46:10+11:00

Three things to consider when it’s no longer business as usual

2020-03-19T11:42:18+11:00

With COVID-19 now considered a global pandemic, we have seen immense and rapid impacts for individuals and business. While many organisations are exercising flexible work policies in the form of advising staff to work from home, or holding meetings via video conference rather than face to face, this is not possible for customer facing staff. There are many knock-on effects that COVID-19 will have including parents needing to stay home to look after children should schools close down, casual hours being cut as there is a downturn in customer trade, and possible redundancies just to name a few. During this unprecedented time, it’s critical to be aware of our unconscious bias when making decisions regarding personnel in the workplace. Should you need to consider a reduction in staff hours, or changing the wording of leave policies, review these decisions with a gender equitable lens. Question why these decisions are being made - don’t reduce a female’s hours just because she may have a partner that is able to support her, or children at home to look after. If schools close, ensure you are advising and/or encouraging your male employees to work from home or take leave to look after the children, equally as you would [...]

Three things to consider when it’s no longer business as usual2020-03-19T11:42:18+11:00

Mind the Gap – Improving your organisation’s pay equity

2020-03-06T12:14:34+11:00

Six steps to improve your organisation's pay equity It’s up to every leader to call out gender equality as a key priority for their organisation. It takes more than just words, you need a clear plan with measurable outcomes. It starts with the CEO and everyone needs to work together to drive change.’ Gail Kelly, former CEO Westpac and member of Chief Executive Women Achieving gender equality, including gender pay equity, is a process that takes time and conscious significant effort. Gender pay equity is about ensuring women and men performing the same role are paid the same amount, and women and men performing different work of equal or comparable value are paid equitably. This requires a valuing of skills, responsibilities and working conditions in a non-discriminatory way. There are many reasons for the gap between earnings for women. A range of historical factors have played a part in creating the gender pay gap. Today, influencing factors can include: Unintended gender biases in hiring, promotion, performance and pay decisions The undervaluation of skills in industries and areas where women predominate Women’s lack of access to work-based training Different levels of eligibility for discretionary payments such as over-award payments, [...]

Mind the Gap – Improving your organisation’s pay equity2020-03-06T12:14:34+11:00

Five Simple Actions to Promote Women’s Achievements

2020-02-05T09:29:26+11:00

Highlighting Women’s Achievements We don’t live in a gender equal society. Men are judged based on their potential; women are judged based on their past performance. Even in 2020, society and workplaces still use two different scales to evaluate men and women. Research shows that women must prove that they can succeed in a role before they are promoted into it, whereas men may be promoted on their perceived potential. The consequence is men often move up into management positions faster than women.  This means we all need to highlight women’s achievement’s, so that their past performance is recognised, while we address the systemic gender barrier at a broader level. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, featured two similarly structured experiments, both conducted online via Amazon's Mechanical Turk. One featured 199 participants, who were told that a fictitious technology company was looking for a director of financial affairs. They then looked at four resumes. Two of them (one for a man, and one for a woman) highlighted the applicant's past successes, while the other two emphasized his or her potential. These were accompanied by short testimonials, which also focused on either impressive past performance or inherent capabilities. Participants [...]

Five Simple Actions to Promote Women’s Achievements2020-02-05T09:29:26+11:00

How Sponsorship Can Create Successful Career Pathways

2020-01-29T17:31:50+11:00

Forging and developing career-building relationships, or the lack thereof, is one barrier women face in the workplace that can hinder leadership progression. There are not enough women represented in leadership, and this in large part is due to not getting high-stake assignments which are critical for being considered for leadership and C-Suite Roles. Often, this is due to a lack of influential sponsors demanding and ensuring that they get these stepping-stone jobs. Sponsorship can be powerful mechanism to overcome this barrier. Sponsorship is also a significant and effective professional relationship for women's success. Sponsorship is active support by someone appropriately placed in the organisation who has significant influence on decision-making processes or structures. A sponsor is someone who can spot talent and is willing to advocate for, protect, and fight for the career advancement of an individual. According to the 2018-2019 Workplace Gender Equality Agency scorecard, women make up 50.2% of the Australian workforce yet just 31.5% of women make up Senior Leadership Teams. As seniority increases, representation of women decreases with women comprising just 17.1% of all CEOs. Statistics in the gaming industry are even more sobering; women hold just 3.8% of CEOs positions, and 25.6% of females make up Senior [...]

How Sponsorship Can Create Successful Career Pathways2020-01-29T17:31:50+11:00

How to Avoid Gender Bias in Performance Reviews

2019-11-20T11:51:36+11:00

Love them or hate them, performance reviews are an annual staple in the majority of companies. To ensure business success, most organisations have a performance evaluation process. This might include including goal-setting, performance measurement, regular performance feedback, self-evaluation, employee recognition and documentation of employee progress. Performance reviews are supposed to be objective with employees being rated against a scale to ensure fairness. However, performance reviews are subjective, and this opens the door to gender bias. Gender bias, by definition, is the unfair differences in the way a person is treated because of their gender. We have seen many a business case telling us the benefits of a diverse leadership team; improved financial performance, more creative and innovative teams, improvements in recruiting and retaining talent just to name a few. We even have sex discrimination acts in force making it illegal to discriminate based on one’s gender. So why is bias still at play and how does it affect women’s ability to progress in the workplace? Everyone has biases. They develop over the course of our lifetime through our own experiences and exposure to messages and other influences. While bias will always be present, we can become more aware and [...]

How to Avoid Gender Bias in Performance Reviews2019-11-20T11:51:36+11:00

Avoiding the Merit Trap

2019-10-24T10:55:27+11:00

Avoiding the Merit Trap Merit is a combination of past performance and future potential. Merit is also thought of as an objective way to recruit the ‘best person for the job’ however, under the surface, it is a largely subjective measure. Hiring the ‘best person for the job’ based on merit can and does have a large impact on advancing gender equality. Many organisations cite merit as the reason for not having promoted more women into senior leadership roles. Merit though, does introduce bias to the hiring process. Many studies have shown that promotions and appointments are often based on subjective considerations as well as skill and experience. Unconscious bias comes into play across a variety of ways including affinity bias (someone like you or who you can relate to) as well as groupthink (desire for harmony and conformity). According to Global Women New Zealand, there are two key problems with the concept of meritocracy in the world of work. “The first is that bias exists at each stage of the employment process. The second is that women and men do not start from an even playing field.” Merit is a topic that has been widely discussed and [...]

Avoiding the Merit Trap2019-10-24T10:55:27+11:00

Increasing Representation Of Women On Boards

2019-10-31T11:11:21+11:00

Gaming and hospitality have historically been male-dominated industries with unconscious bias accounting for the gender gap in leadership. One form of unconscious bias is affinity bias which affects recruitment, retention and the talent pipeline. Hiring managers show a marked preference for candidates to whom they can relate which plays a key role in many selection decisions. The perception is that leaders will hire like-minded individuals with similar leadership styles; so, a heavily male workforce will more than likely be maintained. Unconscious bias also affects the representation of women on boards and an active focus is required to create and/or increase diversity. According to the ASX, the latest percentage of women on ASX200 boards is 29.5% (reported 31 October 2019). In New Zealand, figures released by the NZX show the percentage of women directors on listed company boards increased from 19.7% to 22% in 2018 – just four more women than in 2017 (reported February 2019). There is growing evidence that a diverse workforce leads to tangible and positive impacts on culture and operations. Benefits include increased efficiency, productivity, innovation, creativity and improved employee engagement. A strategic focus on a diverse workforce needs to start at the top. The composition [...]

Increasing Representation Of Women On Boards2019-10-31T11:11:21+11:00

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

2019-10-16T11:00:53+11:00

Last month on 28th August, Australia observed [Un] Equal Pay Day, marking the 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women must work to earn the same pay as men. Equal Pay Day saw a flurry of social media activity, engagement and support, but it is important to remember that this issue needs year-round attention. It's equally important to remember that Equal Pay is not the only factor that contributes to the Gender Pay Gap. Particular attention needs to be paid to the social and economic factors that combine to reduce women's earning capacity over their lifetime, and what we can do about it to help close the gap. Before we explore the reasons, let's look at the what the gender pay gap is and isn't. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, "the gender pay gap measures the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the workforce. It is not the difference between two people being paid differently for work of the same or comparable value, which is unlawful. This is called equal pay. The gender pay gap is an internationally established measure of women's position in the economy in comparison to men." In Australia, the gender pay [...]

Closing the Gender Pay Gap2019-10-16T11:00:53+11:00