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represent 50 percent of
middle management and professional positions but the percentages of women
at the top of organizations like Kathleen
Murphy whom you've heard and Gail Goodman who's speaking later
represent not even a third of that number. So some people hear that
and they ask, why do we have so few women leaders?
But I look at that statistic and
if you, like me, believe that leadership manifests at
every level you would see that there's a tremendous
awesome resource of leaders
who are leading in middle management. Which raises
a different question, "Why are there so many women
mired in the middle and what has to happen
to take them to the top?" So some if you might be some of those women who are
in middle management and seeking to move up in your organization.
Well Tonya is a great example
of one of these women. I met her two years ago. She was a vice president in a
fortune 50 company.
And she said to me with a sense of deep frustration,
"I work really hard to improve my confidence
and my assertiveness and develop a great brand. I get
terrific performance evals from my boss.
My 360s in the organization let me know that my teams love working for me.
I've taken every management course that i can here.
I'm working with a terrific mentor and yet
I've been passed over twice for advancement
opportunities even when my manager knows
that I'm committed to moving up and even interested in an international
assignment. I don't understand why
I'm being passed over." So what Tonya doesn't realize
is that there's a Missing 33%™ of the career success
equation for women
and it's understanding what this Missing 33% is that's required to close the
gender gap
at the top. So if you have
listened to Sheryl Sandberg's TED Talk
get ready for women in leadership 2.0. In order to move
up in organizations, you have to be known for your leadership skills. And this would
apply to any
of you women or men. It means that you have to be
recognized for using the greatness in you
to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes
by engaging the greatness in others. Put in other language,
it means you have to use your skills and talents and abilities
to help the organization achieve its strategic financial goals
and do that by working effectively with others
inside of the organization and outside.
And although all three of these elements of leadership
are important when it comes to moving up in organizations,
they are equally important. So pay attention to the green
box as I move forward. In seeking and identifying
employees with high potential, the potential to go to the top
of organizations, the
skills and competencies that relate to that green box
are rated twice as heavily as those
in the other two elements of leadership. These skills and competencies
can be summarized as business strategic
and financial acumen. In other words, this skill set has to do with
understanding where the organization is going,
what its strategy is, what financial targets it has in place, and understand
your role in moving the organization forward.
This is that Missing 33%
of the career success equation for women. Not because it's missing in our
or abilities, but because it's missing in the advice
that we're given. Someone's
affirming that that's been their experience. Here's what I mean by
Five years ago I was asked moderate a panel of
executives and the topic for the evening was 'What do you look for in
high-potential employees?'
So think about the three elements of leadership
as I summarize for you what they told me. They said,
"We look for people who are smart and hardworking and committed
and trustworthy and resilient."
So which element of leadership does that relate to?
Personal greatness. They said, "We look for
employees who are great with our customers,
who empower their teams, who negotiate effectively,
who are able to manage conflict well and are overall great communicators."
Which element of leadership does that equate to?
Engaging the greatness in others. And then they pretty much stopped.
So I asked, "Well what about people who understand your business,
where it's going, and their role in taking it there?
And what about people who are able to scan the external environment,
identify risks and opportunities, make
strategy or make strategic recommendations?
And what about people who are able to look at the financials of your business,
understand the story that the financials tell,
and either take appropriate action or make appropriate recommendations?"
And to a man they said, "That's a given."
So I turned to the audience of a 150 women
and I asked, "How many of you have ever been told
that the door opener for career advancement is your business strategic
and financial acumen,
and that all the other important stuff is what differentiates you
in the talent pool?" Three women
raised their hand. And I've asked this question
of women all around the globe in the five years since
and the percentage is never much
different. So this is obvious right?
But how can it be? Well there are primarily three reasons.
That there's this Missing 33% in the career success
advice given to women. First of all,
when organizations direct women toward resources,
that focus on the conventional advice that we've been hearing for over 40
There's a notable absence of advice that relates
to business, strategic and financial acumen. Much of the advice
is emphasizing personal actions that we need to take, like become more assertive,
become more
confident, develop your personal brand. Things that Tonya has been working on.
And advice about working with other people things like
learn to self promote, get a mentor, enhance your network.
And virtually nothing said about the importance
of business strategic and financial acumen.
This doesn't mean that this advice is unimportant.
What it means is that this is advice that's absolutely essential for breaking
from career start to middle management.
But it's not the advice that gets women to break through
from the middle - where we're 50% - to senior executive positions.
And this is why conventional advice to women
in 40 years hasn't closed the gender gap at the top
and won't close it. Now
the second reason relates to Tonya's comments about having
had excellence performance evals,
great feedback from her teams,
and having taken every management training program she can lay her hands
So you would think that she's getting messages from her organization through
the talent development systems
and performance management systems that let her know how important it is to
develop business, strategic and financial acumen.
But here again that green square is quite small.
On average, talent and performance management systems in the organization
that I've worked with,
focus 3 to 1 on the other two elements of leadership
compared to the importance of business, strategic and financial acumen.
Which is why typical talent and performance systems
haven't closed and won't close the gender gap at the top.
Now Tonya also talked about working with a mentor,
and this is really important to talk about because if
organizations talent and performance systems aren't giving
people in general information about the importance
of business,strategic and financial acumen, how are men getting to the top?
Well there primarily two ways. One is because of the positions they're
guided into, and the other is because
of informal mentoring and sponsorship.
So what's women's experience as it relates to mentoring?
Well this comment from an executive that I worked with recently
illustrates that experience. He was very proud
of the fact that last year he had two proteges - a man
and a woman. And he said, "I helped
the woman build confidence, I helped the man learn the business,
and I didn't realize that I was treating them any differently."
And he was sincere about that. So what this
illustrates is that as managers, whether we're women or men, we have mindsets
about women and men, about careers in leadership,
and these on examined mindsets won't close the gender gap
at the top. So how do we take this idea of The Missing 33% and turn it
into action?
Well for women the answer is obvious.
We have to begin to focus more on developing and demonstrating
the skills we have that show that we're
people who understand our businesses where they're headed
and our role it taking there. That's what enables that breakthrough
from middle-management to leadership
at the top. But you don't have to be a middle
manager to do this. One young scientists that works in
a biotech firm, used her
insight about The Missing 33% to weave financial
impact data into a project update she did and got tremendous positive feedback
from the managers
in the room.
So we don't want to put a hundred percent of the responsibility
on women's shoulders, nor would it be
wise to do so and here's why.
In order for companies to achieve their strategic financial goals,
executives understand that they have to have everyone pulling in the same
In other words the term we use in business is we have to have strategic
And executives know this very well yet only 37%,
according to a recent Conference Board report,
believe that they have that strategic alignment in place.
So for 63% of organizations,
achieving their strategic financial goals is questionable.
And if you think about what I've just shared, that you have situations where
at least 50% of your middle managers
haven't received clear messaging, that they have to become
focused on the business, where it's headed and their role in taking it there,
it's not surprising that that percentage executives who are confident about
is so low. Which is why
there are other people who have a role to play in this.
So it's important for
directors on boards to expect from their executives
proportional pools of women when they sit down once a year for their succession
Why? Because if they aren't seeing that, it could be an indicator
that the - or a red flag - that their organization isn't
as aligned as a could potentially be.
It's important for CEOs to also expect these proportional pools
and if they hear comments like "Well she doesn't have enough business
experience" ask the question what are we gonna do about that?
It's important for HR executives to make sure that
The Missing 33% is appropriately emphasized
and it's important for women and men who are in management positions
to examine the mindsets we hold about women and men, about careers and success
to make sure we're creating a level playing field for everybody.
So let me close with the latest chapter in Tonya's story.
Tonya emailed me two months ago and she said that she had been interviewed for a
new position and during the interview they probed
about her business acumen and her strategic insights into the industry.
And she said that she was so happy to report that now she has a new position
reporting directly to the Chief Information Officer at her company.
So for some of you, The Missing 33% is an idea for you to put into
and I hope that for all of you you will see it as an idea worth spreading
in order to help organizations be more effective, to help women create careers
that soar
and to help close the gender gap at the top.
Thank you.


【TEDx】Closing the leadership gender gap: Susan Colantuono at TEDxBeaconStreet

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Grace Ku 2014 年 10 月 28 日 に公開
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