Chief Executive Women has just released a survey of over 800 managers which sought their views on barriers to women’s progress. Read the Report.
One of the reports key findings is that the business case is still not clear. Despite considerable effort spent identifying and communicating the business advantages of gender balance at senior organisational levels, the argument is still not clear enough for key decision makers. Any other business initiative which demonstrated the kinds of returns seen from organisations with gender balanced would have turned into the latest management fad by now. Yet gender diversity, while of increasing interest, has yet to reach that level of acceptance.
One has to wonder why a business case, demonstrating that more women leads to a positive business impact (as opposed to being neutral), is required at all?
Unconscious biases against women as legitimate leaders plays a major role. Continuing to build the rational business case argument needs to be augmented by practices that create awareness of the biases held against women as legitimate leaders and how these biases limit our acceptance of the business case. Read our Working Paper No. 3 Getting to grips with unconscious bias for more information.