Closing the gender gap … a new approach to matchmaking & attracting female leaders
Female leadership and the benefits of a gender-balanced management team have been trending for several years. Numerous initiatives, such the Paradigm for Parity (https://www.paradigm4parity.com/), are being taken to fix the corporate leadership gender gap.
Being a woman, it is one of the subjects that is closest to my heart but at the same time I am a cold lover.
I think a lot of women share the feeling that one wants to be promoted or hired for being the best at the job, not for having the right chromosomes. Yet reality is that very few women make it to the top.
One aspect of the process, the attraction of female talent, often remains undiscussed. A number of companies require that on every shortlist there is at least one female candidate. I personally am not a fan because chances are that a female candidate will make it to the shortlist not because she is the best for the job but because she is the token women.
Maybe it is time for a new approach….and start with the idea that in order to attract top female talent, we need to pro-actively discuss career opportunities with female candidates according the succession planning needs of an organization. When the opportunity presents itself as a position becomes available and the candidate is already identified and known by the potential employer decisions are made so much faster and for all the right reasons.
I have been testing this way of working a few years ago with one of my clients. Based on the succession plan and the competency gaps that rose from that, we have developed candidate profiles that would close the succession gaps, create a more diverse workplace and team and fill jobs fast whenever they become available. Proactively, we started identifying women who did not only fit the profile but who also had the personality profile to blend in with the company culture. This created a pipeline of female talent that could be hired not only when the right opportunity arose but also allowed the company to quickly reshuffle the organisation in case the rare gem popped up.
At the same time, women entered the organisation at a middle management level and earn their director or VP position based on merit, not on gender.
After three years of working like this, we can say that this approach has proven to be very successful. So, it is time to share with the world this different way of working.
We have developed a flexible program that can be tailored to your needs and that will ensure that the future female leaders who match the DNA of your company find their way to the career opportunities that you have to offer.
As I also don’t want to forget those future female leaders who are interested in exploring career opportunities, here is a dedicated link for you https://calendly.com/isabel-verhelst/talented-female. It allows you to have a short call with me to see whether I can help you in further developing your career path.