Contact us

promotion (4)

The Missing Link: Approach to Women’s Leadership Must Be Multifaceted

My last post focused on common problems that companies face in realizing a meaningful return on their investment in attracting, retaining, and advancing women leaders. While many forward-thinking organizations have well-developed programs in place to support their women leaders, the desired results are just not being seen in a large number of these Fortune 500 organizations.

Problems are easy to pinpoint, evidenced by the large number of articles in the media elaborating on them. Solutions, on the other hand, have been elusive for this particular challenge. While there are several first-level strategies that women, men, and organizations can execute to improve the situation (as detailed in my last post), none of these approaches by itself is sufficient to truly solve the problem. The solution lies in consistently following through at each of these three levels simultaneously.

Continue Reading

The Missing Link: Moving Beyond First-Level Solutions to Women’s Leadership

It has been a hectic but exciting fall packed with travel and speaking engagements at executive forums and conferences nationwide. At these events, I’ve continued to explore with companies this perennial question: “How do we attract, retain, and advance women leaders?”

My most recent talk engaged top executives from Fortune 500 organizations who are responsible for talent development, or play a key role in talent recruitment while running a significant part of their organization. Most if not all of these well-known organizations have invested significantly in their high-potential women and have developed programs to support women leaders.

Continue Reading

Integrated Leadership is a Three-Legged Stool

When I decided to write my latest book, Make Room for Her: Why Companies Need an Integrated Leadership Model to Achieve Extraordinary Results (McGraw-Hill, December 2012), my goal was to start a dialogue about the lack of women at the top levels of leadership. According to a recent New York Times article, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and former top State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter have the same goal. The need for this dialogue is clear: after decades of talking about gender diversity, women are still grossly under-represented in the senior leadership ranks. Even though women make 80% of purchasing decisions, comprise 51% of the workforce and hold close to 50% of all managerial positions in the Fortune 500, they represent as little as 15% of the executive suite and corporate boards.

In her forthcoming book Lean In (Knopf, March 2013), Sheryl Sandberg argues that the primary reason women are not advancing to the senior ranks is because they often inadvertently sabotage themselves. On the other side of the debate is Anne-Marie Slaughter, who places the blame for the lack of women in senior leadership with the organizations who employ them and with policymakers who fail to enact legislation to support them.

Continue Reading

Sponsorship Matters – What Organizations Can Do

Not a week goes by that SHAMBAUGH doesn’t get a call from an organization looking for help to better prepare its leaders to advance into more senior positions. One of the most common challenges facing these organizations is identifying and advancing talented women leaders. My last two blogs discussed the importance of sponsorship in advancing more women through the leadership pipeline to create balanced, integrated leadership teams that drive better business results. And while individual men and women leaders are on the front lines when it comes to sponsorship, the importance of the organization and senior leadership can’t be underestimated.

Continue Reading