Huffington Post: Startling Results Of A Recent Gender Parity Survey Draw A New Frame Around An Old Picture

It’s puzzling with the vast amount of research demonstrating how corporations stand to financially benefit from achieving gender parity in their top-most ranks, very few companies in the United States have actually made gender diversity in the boardroom and C-suite a top priority. In fact, in the S&P 500, “only 17” companies have 40% or more women on their boards. A recent survey of more than 500 U.S. business executives commissioned by the Women’s Forum of New York has shed new light on the issue – a disproportionate number of women executives recognize the “problem of gender parity” versus men executives who don’t believe there is a problem.

 

At first glance, incongruences between men and women about the status of gender equality may seem conspicuous. But it isn’t until we take a closer look at these new survey results that we truly start to understand how the stark differences between the way male business executives and their female counterparts perceive gender parity–especially in the boardroom and C-suite–reinforce the glass ceiling and stagnate the advancement of women to the highest-ranking corporate leadership positions.

According to the survey, only half of all business executives believe gender inequality in the boardroom is a problem, and among those who do, an overwhelming majority are women (74%) versus men (43%).

 

Another area where the survey showed a significant divergence between men and women executives was whether or not there were enough women leaders in the pipeline for companies to achieve boardroom diversity. A preponderance of the women executives surveyed (72%) reported that they believed there was a sufficient number of women leaders available to reach gender parity, while men executives (49%) were far less likely to agree. This is particularly concerning given that reaching gender parity at the board and C-suite level requires that executives actively seek out women for leadership roles. This becomes an increasingly elusive goal if top leaders erroneously believe the proverbial well is dry. Perhaps one of the most shocking survey results was that twice the number of men than women believed that gender equality in the boardroom and C-suite had already been achieved. This glaring lack of understanding contributes to the barriers that women still face today.

 

While it’s easy to assume that such an alarming disparity reflects a lack of understanding or an unwillingness of men to recognize the potential contributions women can make to corporations, in reality, many of these decisions are the results of unconscious bias. Without even knowing it, both men and women can perpetuate a cycle of inequality simply because of learned behaviors. Preconceived ideas about what leadership “should” look like and who ought to occupy certain roles often is at the root of gender inequality in the workplace. Though this behavior is often unintentional, it is just as detrimental to women’s path to the boardroom.

 

Beyond just understanding these problems, concrete steps toward solving them need to be taken. That means ensuring senior executives, regardless of gender, are taking individual responsibility for creating opportunities for gender diversity. Yet the survey showed that may be a steeper climb than we may have anticipated. Results indicated that less than half of men executives (48%) believe they have any obligation to help women achieve gender parity in the boardroom. Conversely, women executives (61%) believe they have a personal responsibility to help women achieve gender parity in the boardroom. In order to make a significant change in the corporate structure it’s imperative that we collapse this divide.

 

Thankfully, there is one place that consensus exists among business executives: the bottom line. The survey reflects that gender parity in the boardroom strategically makes sense to sustain profitability. In fact, the survey showed that overwhelmingly the number of executives (78%) agreed that parity in the boardroom was good for business. Yet this result is patently counterintuitive to the rest of the survey outcomes, as the majority of men do not see gender parity as a priority! The lack of gender parity in the boardroom and C-suite is costing corporations money – a price paid by shareholders and unfortunately, a price paid by women not being at the boardroom table. While there seems to be a long road ahead for women to achieve parity at the top, there is a solution in sight! A number of senior executives are taking the bull by the horns, or staring it down, as the “Fearless Girl” does, the statue that State Street Global Advisors installed by the Wall Street Bull on this year’s International Women’s Day. Initiatives like these increase awareness about the absence of women on boards and C-suite levels, raise the corporate stakes for those in leadership, and challenge individuals to step up to make diversity a primary strategic business objective. The first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is a problem! This is why we need data like the Women’s Forum of New York’s new survey, which puts the issues in perspective and helps educate top decision-makers about the challenges to bridge the gap between the different perceptions between men and women. The reality is clear – with 80% of the board seats filled by men, there is an equality problem!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/startling-results-of-a-recent-gender-parity-survey_us_5900c8d0e4b0768c2682e1ed

eyeforpharma: Where are the Women?

Why does Paul Simms, chairman, eyeforpharma, think gender parity is important? Read the below communication from 24 March entitled “Where are the Women?”

Gender parity in the workplace isn’t about to happen. It’s 170 years away, according to Kathrin Schoenborn-Sobolewski, a VP at Merck and president-elect of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, echoing a World Economic Forum report.

We need to speed up.

But why do I think gender parity is important? Well it’s not because I’m nice, or because I’m a woman (I’m neither), but because if we’re to fully deliver on patient outcomes, we must be representative of our patient population.

Every patient needs to be able to look at the company making his or her medicine and say: “there is someone running that company who represents me. Who understands me. Who knows me.”

So I was personally disappointed that only 20 percent of our speakers at eyeforpharma Barcelona last week were women, despite best efforts. This must change. We can help accelerate that change by tackling the myriad of barriers that stand in the way. In support of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we published:

Until next time,

Paul

Paul Simms
Chairman
eyeforpharma

Quartz: A new statue stares down Wall Street’s bull. How she got there speaks volumes about gender norms in the workplace

State Street’s young girl statue stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but her story reveals the fear that holds women back at work — Quartz

On a December morning in 1989, New Yorkers woke to find a new fixture in their city: A bronze sculpture in the shape of a bull, installed overnight by a rogue artist.

Nearly three decades later, on March 7, New Yorkers woke to find that the iconic “Charging Bull” of lower Manhattan has company: A defiant young girl, feet planted firm with arms akimbo.

The new sculpture, by Kristen Visbal, was installed by asset management group State Street Global Advisors, in a bit of clever marketing well-timed for the March 8 celebrations of International Women’s Day. It makes for a great photo op, and sends an important message about female empowerment. But the story of how it got there epitomizes a problem that has long held women back in the workplace.

The original bull was stealthily placed at the New York Stock Exchange by sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The Italian artist wanted the bull to celebrate the “virility and courage” of the American people after the 1987 Wall Street crash. The NYSE removed the bull the afternoon after it was put up, but the sculpture had garnered enough media attention that Arthur Piccolo, chair of the Bowling Green Association, had taken notice.

He enlisted the help of New York’s then-mayor Ed Koch and parks chief Henry Stern, and together the three men intervened to give the bull a permanent home at Bowling Green, an historic patch of land at the tip of Manhattan island, just a few blocks from Wall Street. The Charging Bull quickly became an icon of the city’s financial district, and of the markets themselves.

The new statue, in contrast, was erected with consent from the city. No act of guerrilla sculpture, it is a feel-good public relations stunt, the artistic embodiment of a corporate campaign to address gender inequality in corporate leadership positions. And it got there by asking permission first.

The simple act of getting permission is emblematic of a need, shared by many women, to have 100% approval rather than boldly striding forth with an idea.

More than one survey has shown that women won’t apply for jobs they’re not certain of being completely qualified for. A KPMG 2015 survey asked women about the lessons they learned growing up. At the top, 86% responded “be nice to others,” and 85% learned to “be respectful to authorities/elders.” Near the bottom of the list: “Share your point of view.”

The girl symbolizes the future, says the group in a press release. That may be so, if the future looks like the past—with girls who are taught to ask for permission, rather than acting first and getting forgiveness later.

State Street’s young girl statue stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but her story reveals the fear that holds women back at work — Quartz

The original bull was stealthily placed at the New York Stock Exchange by sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The Italian artist wanted the bull to celebrate the “virility and courage” of the American people after the 1987 Wall Street crash. The NYSE removed the bull the afternoon after it was put up, but the sculpture had garnered enough media attention that Arthur Piccolo, chair of the Bowling Green Association, had taken notice.

He enlisted the help of New York’s then-mayor Ed Koch and parks chief Henry Stern, and together the three men intervened to give the bull a permanent home at Bowling Green, an historic patch of land at the tip of Manhattan island, just a few blocks from Wall Street. The Charging Bull quickly became an icon of the city’s financial district, and of the markets themselves.

The new statue, in contrast, was erected with consent from the city. No act of guerrilla sculpture, it is a feel-good public relations stunt, the artistic embodiment of a corporate campaign to address gender inequality in corporate leadership positions. And it got there by asking permission first.

The simple act of getting permission is emblematic of a need, shared by many women, to have 100% approval rather than boldly striding forth with an idea.

More than one survey has shown that women won’t apply for jobs they’re not certain of being completely qualified for. A KPMG 2015 survey asked women about the lessons they learned growing up. At the top, 86% responded “be nice to others,” and 85% learned to “be respectful to authorities/elders.” Near the bottom of the list: “Share your point of view.”

The girl symbolizes the future, says the group in a press release. That may be so, if the future looks like the past—with girls who are taught to ask for permission, rather than acting first and getting forgiveness later.

State Street’s young girl statue stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but her story reveals the fear that holds women back at work — Quartz

The new statue already seems to be captivating tourists and passers-by in New York’s financial district. Will city authorities rally on her behalf as they did three decades ago for the bull she’s now staring down?

“We’re actively pursuing that it stays for a month,” a spokesperson for State Street told Reuters. “If the city decides that it should stay in perpetuity, we’re absolutely on board with that.”

Source: https://qz.com/927578/state-streets-young-girl-statue-stares-down-wall-streets-charging-bull-but-her-story-reveals-the-fear-that-holds-women-back-at-work/

 

Healthcare Organizations Joined Millions of others on Twitter to Celebrate Women’s Achievements in the Life Sciences

As International Women’s Day activities occurred around the world on Wednesday, 8 March, pharma companies and other healthcare-related organizations joined millions of others on Twitter to celebrate women’s achievements in the life sciences. JanssenUK, PfizerCanada, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Sanofi, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Pfizer, GSK, and AbbVie were among the many pharma companies that showcased their female leaders. According to Twitter, more than 7.5 million tweets were generated regarding the day. Social media optimization company RiteTag reported #InternationalWomensDay was used at a rate of almost 30,000 unique tweets per hour; #IWD2017 and #BeBoldForChange racked up more than 5,000 and 2,000 tweets per hour respectively. RiteTag estimated more than 347 million eyes viewed the tweets. There were also many more related hashtags used, such as #4GenParity by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). Pharma tweets included photos of female leaders featuring their accomplishments, or leaders encouraging women to pursue STEM careers, for example.

In preparation for International Women’s Day, the HBA held a Tweetchat featuring Carolyn Buck Luce, executive in residence, Center for Talent Innovation, and author of “Reimagining Healthcare: Through a Gender Lens,” on Monday, 6 March. Between the Tweetchat and the HBA’s International Women’s Day Summit, the official HBA hashtag #HBAimpact reached 3.4 million impressions for a total of 12.2 million year to date impressions.

USAToday: Gender Parity is a Business Issue, Not a Woman’s Issue

By: Laurie P Cooke, RPh, PGDip, CAE, CEO, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association

Human capital is more important than ever in today’s information- and innovation-driven economy, so the best minds are required, whether male or female. For the healthcare industry in particular, inclusion of women may be a matter of economic and strategic necessity, as well as social justice. Statistics show that women account for 80% of healthcare decisions for their households. From this perspective, studies support that ensuring women have the opportunity to achieve their full potential should be at the heart of an organization’s approach to competitive strategy and economic growth.

Gender parity should be pursued at three critical structural levels: hiring, career progression and board and C-suite representation. All three are essential and can be self-reinforcing. For example, having more female representation on boards and in leadership positions can help narrow the pay gap as female executives are part of the decision-making process for setting salaries and strengthening efforts to attract and hire women at the more junior levels. Further, a 2011 research report in Catalyst, Inc. showed that companies with three or more women on the board outperform companies with all-male boards by 60% on ROI, 60% on ROE and 84% on return on sales (ROS).

To attract the best talent, diversity and inclusion should be woven into the organization’s fabric. In other words, companies should lay out the best carpet by facilitating career opportunities and business connections that enable their female talent to ignite their full potential. The three criteria indicative of a supportive and gender-respectful organization are mentorship opportunities, leadership programs and flexibility. How does your organization stack up?

Experts contend that diversity is beneficial because it enriches the organization’s understanding of the marketplace, improves the quality of products and services and helps meet customer needs. One report shows that for every 1% rise in the rate of gender diversity and ethnic diversity in a workforce, there is a 3% and 9% increase in sales revenue, respectively. Gender diversity can also enhance creativity and innovation, leading to better problem-solving as a wider variety of options are generated and considered.

Organizations pursuing gender parity and diversity will reap the benefits of increased revenue, decreased costs, maximized profits, as well as more effective employee recruitment, improved employee retention, and an enhanced corporate image. Are you in?

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Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Highlights Men as Gender Parity Advocates

by Kelley Connors, MPH

It was a light bulb moment last week when my young 14-year old niece, Grace, nudged me  “Will it really take another 100 years before there is gender parity in the workforce?”

After all, she reminded me, women have had the right to vote for almost 100 years.

“Yes, Grace”, I answered with humility. “We’re on it now”. When I hear that, I realize I’ve just underscored that gender bias comes down to us. It comes down to what Carolyn Buck Luce told a crowd of HBA Boston executive women last month.  “You need to take a stand. Not a position, but a stand for gender parity”.

That’s exactly why the global women’s leadership development organization’s recent panel discussion was led by Gail Evans, former executive VP at CNN and best-selling author of Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman.

Gail sat down with these three male executives in an open panel discussion: Nick Colucci, CEO, Publicis, Brian Goff, 2014, Honorable Mentor, executive vice president, hematology, Baxalta, Rob Movereley, regional VP operations – west region, Quest Diagnostics; and Stuart Sowder, 2015 Honorable Mentor, VP, external medical communications, Pfizer.

Questions explored included how women and men get promoted, the ingredients for leadership success, and what it will take for gender parity to be realized in the workforce?

Nick Colucci: Women and men get promoted differently. When a man has two of the five characteristics related to a new job posting, he’s knocks on my door and says he’s ready for the job. Women don’t knock on my door at all, unless they have all five characteristics. To women I would say, don’t focus on that fifth thing you don’t have. Women need to put yourself out there and take those risks. No one is ever totally prepared for that job.

Stuart Sowder: Ingredients for Leadership Success. Women need to get credit for work they’ve done. Men attribute their accomplishments to their skills and achievements. Women believe it was their team who should get the credit or that they got lucky. This is a big issue. Women need to step up and take ownership and accountability for their achievements.

Rob Moverley: What will it take to achieve gender parity? I don’t believe it will take 100 years to achieve gender parity. We already know about the power of the purse; women are the decision makers in healthcare. Companies won’t survive unless there is gender parity. But diversity must be part of middle management, the interview panel, for gender parity to be sustainable.

Obviously, the gender parity issue has not been lost on the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association which boasts 8,000 members, both men and women. Ron Carucci, managing director, Navalent, Author, Rising to Power, told me in a telephone interview that it’s past bedtime with this issue.   “It can’t be 50-50 with regard to hiring. It must be 65-35 for the next ten years to get women at the top. We know it is a decisive factor in performance and possibility.”

Kelley Connors is a Wellbeing Coach for Busy Working Women and Digital Innovator at Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association