Commentary from the video:
Here I am in sunny Sydney where I am catching up with the many conversations happening around women’s leadership. It’s a fact that there are way too few women at the top! Attention has been drawn to this particularly since the World Economic Forum published the Global Gender Gap report this month.
During the time of their new measurement system, Australia has dropped out of the top 20 countries, and gone down nine positions to number 24. The WEF says that it is possible to address the problem of gender imbalance and disparity if you can measure it so they started a system to do this in 2006. They investigate and rate how countries across the world are empowering women in each of four areas: economically, politically, access to health care and education. Out of 136 countries the most equitable distribution of wealth and opportunity for women is in Iceland, with all the Nordic countries appearing in the top 10 rankings.
A recent initiative in Australia is called Male Champions of Change, where 21 CEOs and leading industry men are investigating what they can do in their own organisations and supply chain companies to increase the pipeline of women for promotion to the top. It’s brilliant, they are really looking to speed things up.
Now at the opposite end of that activity we have a new prime minister in Australia who was just named his new cabinet with 18 men and one woman: it’s been pointed out that this is two less than Afghanistan. To say it is disappointing is really an understatement
Why is that? Are there really so a few senior, qualified, experienced women to choose from? I don’t think so. Part of it must be because we have an old system, old way of working and looking at things……… I don’t think they see the women who are there.
So two things need to happen:
1) firstly we need to change the system so women can be seen
Secondly, we women need to make ourselves more visible
And this is what I shall be talking about next week in Sydney. See here for details of the Feminine Leadership workshop on Wed Nov 27th.
I think an important distinction in this whole process is that we don’t want positions long held by men, vacated then replaced by women …… and then those females having to adapt themselves (consciously and unconsciously) to fit into that position and adapt to the way that men have traditionally run things.
Of course women will try to bring their personal stamp and they do but we’re not really leveraging our difference enough. We need feminine leadership …. not simply an increase in the headcount of women leaders. That will bring about the change that is needed.
So much new information is coming in now that shows we are different to men and have different ways of seeing and relating to the world. There is something different that women bring to the table which is relatively unexamined and not understood. Brain research is a relatively new science and research into female brains is even newer. Gender does make a big difference.
I love Dr Daniel Amen’s new research that he says points to women actually being wired for leadership. This American neuro-scientist has conducted the largest brain study ever looking at 46,000 brain scans.
The new insights gleaned from his study led Dr Amen to conclude that women’s brains are actually wired for leadership. Activity in the front part of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex, makes women’s brains much more powerful. Dr Amen says this gives females five unique strengths with a dramatically enhanced capacity built into their brains for five qualities that are important for leadership today.
I’m going to be talking about those in more detail at an event in Sydney…
Join me for the conversation. It’s time for us to step forward and be willing to bring our whole authentic, feminine selves to the change process that the world needs.