What is standing in the way of reaching the goal of gender diversity in leadership? Women’s can’t get off the hook. I’m talking about how women treat and support each other. Have you seen women not be supportive of other women? Have you seen a woman undermine another woman?. Have you seen women who made it to the top and then “pulled up the ladder”? Have you seen “cattiness,” “back-biting,” or “sabotage”? What mind-sets underlie this negative behavior? Can awareness help us change them?
Everyone knows that having women on a company’s board of directors is good for the company’s bottom line. Research shows that a critical mass of THREE women results in better corporate governance. Less likely to feel like an outsider, a woman is more likely to speak up and be heard when she is one of three. Good decisions and good results follow from a balance of feminine and masculine strengths. Knowing this, leaders should not be satisfied with one (token) woman. Yet a new study shows that, at the executive level, most companies have just one woman. They have “checked the box.” With only one woman, they may miss out on the value of true gender diversity.