Tag Archives: women

My most read business posts in 2014

dscf1285.jpgOnce again the techies at WordPress provide me with an annual report with lots if statistics. They remind me I posted a measly 47 posts last year, and some of them I re-blogged – so thank you bloggers who allowed me to do that.

My blog is now read in 111 countries but primarily in the USA, the UK, and Spain. But thank you those readers from Papua New Guinea,  Uzbekistan, Iceland, Moldova, Qatar, Guernsey, Luxemburg, Afghanistan, Macao, Tanzania and Krygystan among others. Truly an international readership.

The top ten posts were:

1st : Stress back on the agenda? This was 4th last year and in the top spot in 2012

2nd: Teams and Diversity not so simple which was in 5th spot last year

3rd: Women are the winners at work which was in top spot last year

4th: Saying thank you makes good business sense a jump from 16th place last year

5th: Leadership & Influencing and even bigger jump from 21st spot last year

6th: No-one wants to be rated as average This was 3rd last year and in 2nd spot in both 2011 & 2012 – obviously I struck a chord with it.

7th: Erotic Capital – boobs, botox and making the most of yourself a slight drop from 6th spot last year

8th: Rude, arrogant and powerful up from 11th spot last year

9th: Leaders without any shame jointly with Leadership capabilities necessary for a successful merger

10th: Women in Leadership – too nice? Too bossy?

For the second year my most-read posts have been from earlier years with only those in bottom three places from 2014. This probably reflects the paucity of my output in 2014. So must try harder!

My most read posts in 2013

Women in Leadership – too nice? Too bossy?

women_calculator_desk_1600_wht_7996Leaving aside the whole issue of women on FTSE100 boards and the Norwegian Golden Skirts have women finally cracked the glass ceiling?

Well according to Herminia Ibarra and her colleagues, writing in the September 2013 HBR, persistent gender bias disrupts the learning process of becoming a leader.

They are talking about what they call “second generation gender bias”. Not direct discrimination but things like the paucity of role models for women, career paths and jobs that have become entrenched with a gender bias, and women’s lack of access to sponsors and networks.

They also talk about the double binds facing women. In most cultures leadership is associated with masculinity. The ideal leader, like the ideal man, is decisive, assertive, and independent.

Women, on the other hand, are expected to be nice, caretaking, and unselfish.  Research shows that female leaders who excel in traditional male domains are viewed as competent but less likeable than their male counterparts.

Yet research shows that female CEOs are trusted more than male ones and can add real value to teams.

Behaviours that suggest self-confidence or assertiveness in men often appear arrogant or abrasive in women. Female leaders who adopt a feminine approach to their work may be liked but not respected.

They are seen as too emotional to make tough decisions and too soft to be strong leaders.

Yet research carried out by Zenger and Folkman in 2011 on over 7,000 executives using 360 degree feedback, showed that women were rated higher than men at every managerial level.

However the higher in the hierarchy you went the more men there were. So were companies promoting the right people?

They used 16 competencies in their research, which they had identified as being the most important in terms of overall leadership effectiveness.

These were:

  • Takes initiative
  • Practices self-development
  • Drives for results
  • Develops others
  • Inspires and motivates others
  • Builds relationships
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Establishes stretch goals
  • Champions change
  • Solves problems and analyses issues
  • Communicates powerfully and prolifically
  • Connects the group to the outside world
  • Innovates
  • Technical or professional expertise
  • Develops strategic perspective

Comparing mean scores for men and women the women scored significantly (statistically) higher than the men on 12 of the 16 traits – and not just the ones that women are known to be better at.

They scored the same as men on connecting to the outside world. innovating, and technical or professional expertise. The only trait where men scored higher was on developing a strategic perspective.

So what’s to be done? Ibarra and her colleagues don’t suggest anything dramatically new or innovative.

Progressing to leadership positions means leaving behind your old professional identity and learning new skills (have a look at Charan’s pipeline model).

women_puzzle_pieces_1600_wht_7872That can be scary so having supportive mechanisms in place such as providing leadership programmes, mentoring and coaching (and I find in my coaching that women are less defensive and often respond better than men), and providing a support group or a safe space – perhaps an action learning group – can make a real difference.

Women and the “Glass Ceiling”……….is it still in tact?

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

‘One in, one out’ for female directors at top UK companies

Study raises question of tokenism as FTSE 350 firms likely to appoint female director only as successor to another woman
Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, sparked a debate on boardroom equality with her book Lean In. Photograph: Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The UK’s biggest companies are likely to appoint a female director only if the post has been vacated by another woman, according to research that suggests sex bias is entrenched at the top of British business.

The report’s authors analysed the board composition and performance between 1996 and 2010 of companies listed on the FTSE 350 index, and say their research raises questions about whether companies are guilty of tokenism, and are failing to understand the moral case for bringing more women into the boardroom.

The percentage of female directors on the boards of FTSE 350 companies…

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Time Passes But Little Changes…………..Equality!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Gender pay gap GROWS for the first time in five years: Men now earn £97-a-week more than women

The gap between what men and women earn in work has widened for the first time in five years, new figures show. Full-time men now earn 10 per cent more than their female colleagues, but including all employees the gap has risen 19.6 per cent to 19.7 per cent.

Unions seized on the figures as proof that years of ‘slow, steady progress’ on pay equality was being eroded.

How men earn more than women
Working women receive £97-a-week less than men in full-time jobs, the Office for National Statistics said

Working women receive £97-a-week less than men in full-time jobs, the Office for National Statistics, it was the first time the gender pay gap has increased since 2008.

The figures showed that median annual earnings for full-time employees were £27,000 in the year to April, an increase of 2.1 per cent from the previous year.One in 10 full-time workers earned less than £7.28 an hour…

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Companies will be forced to have at least 40% female board members under European Commission plans

See my earlier posts on this at Getting Women on Board

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Companies will be forced to ensure that at least 40 per cent of their board members are women under European Commission-backed plans to help women into top jobs.

The rules demand that companies give non-executive directorships to women, where there is no male candidate who is better qualified, until they reach a target of four in ten. More radical plans were softened by the commission, which rejected imposing a penalty for firms who fail to reach the quota. 

Companies will be forced to ensure at least four of ten board members are women under EC-backed plans

Companies will be forced to ensure at least four of ten board members are women under EC-backed plans. However, the draft law does envisage possible fines for companies that ignore the selection rules.

European Union justice commissioner Viviane Reding, who launched the proposal, said: ‘The Parliament has made the first cracks in the glass ceiling that continues to bar female talent from the top jobs.’

 The news rules do not help women aiming for…

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What is it about women working with men?

business_icon_group_1600_wht_7729New research shows that women undervalue themselves when part of a male team but are happy to take credit when their colleagues are female.

The researcher, Dr Michelle Haynes at the University of Massachusetts, who wanted to see how women viewed themselves in teams, feels that this damages their earning potential and stops them getting to the top.

She set up experiments where participants worked remotely with people from typical male roles such as a managing supervisor at an investment company.

There was no other person involved however but the participants didn’t know that and they were then asked to both give and receive feedback about their team’s performance.

When they did this the women gave more credit to the supposed male team-mate and took less credit themselves. When their supposed team mates were female however they were happy to take credit for the team’s performance showing that they didn’t undervalue themselves in that setting.

Dr Haynes said “This finding is critical because it debunks the notion that what we found is simply a function of women being modest in groups”  and “if women view their own contribution less favourably than they regard the contribution of their male co-workers, it is likely to impact how women view their efficacy at work and the degree to which they are likely to to vie for competitive projects and promotions”.

This study was published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Other research about women working in teams has found that:

Women perform worse after receiving feedback in a mixed team

Adding women to a team can increase the group IQ level

And do women actually like working in teams?

The issue of men and women working together is a rich area for research.

Throw children into the mix and you can get some surprising results

Women make better business decisions than men: Companies with female directors perform better and cut risk of bankruptcy.

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

The study, published this week in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, also found that male directors prefer to make decisions using rules, regulations and traditional ways of doing business.

Female directors, on the other hand, are less constrained by these parameters and more prepared to use initiative than male colleagues.

The study was conducted byChris Bart, professor of strategic management at the DeGroote School of Business at Canada’s McMaster University, and Gregory McQueen, a McMaster graduate and senior executive associate dean at A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.


A retort to the research on one of the messageboards said For a more accurate picture of female business decisions (rather than tainted surveys not subject to peer review), Google “How five women CEO’s destroyed confidence in the U.S. economy.” All of these women were promoted beyond their ability to fill quotas, yet stockholders…

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