“You can be what you can see”. There is no greater contemporary evidence of this statement than the terrific Ash Barty who won The French Open in 2019. In winning, Ash said that Evonne Goolagong was her hero and had been a highly visible role model to her since childhood. Ash could see someone who looked like her, and who was successful. Ash knew that she could have that success too. Because she can be what she can see.
When She Can’t See It
Along with a stack of research and the current statistics on the gender composition of leadership in Australia, we know that women are still being overlooked, time and time again, when it comes to sourcing and recruiting them for senior, executive and C-Suite roles, in business and in sport. It is a symptom that is often treated with confidence-building programs for women, leadership programs for women and mentoring programs for women. Yep, you guessed it, lots of fixing women kinda stuff! Rather than doing what needs to be done. Advancing more women into leadership.
Why not create and deliver much better resources for leaders to stop talking (and fixing women) and start to getting shit done for women in the workplace? The sort of stuff that will have an impact on the appallingly slow rate of change when it comes to gender diversity in leadership?
My advice to leaders is to keep it simple and start taking visible action. A highly effective tactic is to visibly and vocally celebrate, showcase and honour the achievements of women. By doing this, women can see women achieving success (she can be what she can see.) Research proves that women will believe they can work for and attain the same success as their virtual mentors and visible role models. Vocally advocating for women to be more visible in the organisation can also help to reduce the negative impact of stubborn mindsets and gender stereotypes about women’s work versus men’s work. A great way to demonstrate that she can be what she can see!
When Did Your Boss Last…?
Here are some questions you can have a link about. I tweeted about them a while back.
When was the last time your boss:
- Publicly showcased the achievements of women in the workplace at a town hall, team meeting, or another public forum?
- Send a group email or newsletter to thank a woman for her contributions or achievements in the workplace?
- Checked, or made sure that someone checked, that the images and language on the company websites and social media show as many women as men?
Once you have the answers, you will have the beginning of a tactical action plan, that any leader can take ownership of.
Perhaps Your Boss Needs Help?
But not all bosses get it. Yet! My job is to help bosses become aware, stop talking and start doing, in order to create a gender-balanced and inclusive workplace that works for women. Yes, my job is to help bosses get shit done to create gender-equal, inclusive and high performing workplaces.
So, if your boss needs help, or if your organisation needs to move from conversation to action, then I will have an approach that is just right for you and your organisation. Give me a call or send me an email for a confidential conversation about how to get shit done for gender diversity your workplace.