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Building a Business Case for Integrated Leadership

In my last post, “Why We Need Integrated Leadership”, I discussed several reasons why companies need to begin moving toward a more balanced, integrated approach to leadership. I explained how in our ever more complex and connected world, organizations no longer have the luxury of failing to tap into the full capacity of their leadership team. We need all voices on deck to create a unified and integrated group of leaders who can leverage each other’s unique strengths, while integrating both the practical and creative insights of different perspectives.

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How Can We Do Better for Women’s Leadership in 2016?

I recently read an inspiring post on the Catalyst website by two female GE managers, Cara Hume and Nancy Dunn. In the post, Hume and Dunn explained how asking the simple question “How can we do better” led their senior leadership team to make significant changes in the company’s policies, benefits, and culture this year.

The post explains how the pair had reflected with their boss, Susan Peters, senior VP of HR at GE, on their experience of trying to juggle and flex their work with the rest of their life. Peters challenged them to think about how the company could do better when it came to parental leave, family care, flexible work arrangements, and more.

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Top 3 Leadership Attributes Women Need in the 21st Century

A 2015 study from Pew Research Center found that the majority of the American public agrees that women are as capable and qualified for corporate leadership as men are. Pew reports that “most Americans find women indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, with many saying they’re stronger than men in terms of being compassionate and organized leaders.”

But as we all know, at the end of the day, that vote of confidence hasn’t resulted in gender equality in top leadership positions. There’s no need to restate the numbers; if you need a refresher, my recent post on growing momentum globally for gender quotas tells some of the story.

At SHAMBAUGH, our goal is to provide solutions rather than to dwell on why these challenges relating to women’s leadership aren’t progressing quickly enough. To that end, here is a summary of three top capabilities that women need to thrive as leaders, based on a recent McKinsey study of 250 high-ranking female executives and validated by SHAMBAUGH’s own research:

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Is Culture of Overwork Behind Women’s Stalled Advancement?

The speculated reason why fewer women than men reach the leadership ranks has changed over time. From the early to mid-1990s, most explanations for the discrepancy at the top pointed to sexism and sexual harassment of women, according to research from Harvard Business School (HBS). From the mid-90s to 2000, the media chorus shifted to blame women’s exclusion from the “old boy’s club.” By 2001, the focus turned to responsibilities for children as the reason more women couldn’t get ahead.

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