As we celebrate Women’s History month and the recent International Women’s Day—with my company, Sodexo, making the courageous decision to celebrate every day as International Women’s Day—I’ve thought a lot about the role and responsibilities men have in advancing gender equality. (more…)
Earlier this month, in the middle of another stretch of tough headlines for women to digest, an interviewer posed to me a question:
What can women do to become CEOs and succeed in corporate life? (more…)
Sodexo North America
Some of the buzz these days surrounds women in the workplace and the various barriers to their professional advancement. My personal experience over the years, probably like many others, has varied between amazing bosses and mentors who encouraged me to grow, and of course the not so great bosses and the leaders who felt threatened and excluded me. Over the past 9 years, my journey has been more about the evil two words we call “mommy guilt.” It’s the other hidden barrier that so many of us share which often holds women back from the next big promotion. (more…)
Gender equity in business should not be an issue.
This country has more women with secondary degrees than men. Close to half of the labor force is female. In my thirty-year career, I’ve witnessed a sea change in attitude about women in the workplace.
And yet, it is a problem. Glass ceilings are real. We can break them, but first we have to ask ourselves why they exist and why companies motivated to support change end up with lopsided leadership. (more…)
In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global recognition that there are basic inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms that apply to every human being. The Declaration made clear that men and women have the same rights to basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In the 69 years since then, we’ve made more strides towards gender equality but there is much more work to do in eliminating barriers for women across all aspects of society, including the workplace. (more…)
Back in June, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, there was a clear goal: Make it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for doing the same job, under the same conditions, with the same level of experience, requiring the same skill, effort, and responsibility. Despite its good intentions, the law still hasn’t solved the problem—even after 54 years.
Since then, the issue has become muddied in politics. Selecting April 4th as “Equal Pay Day” is meant to represent how many more weeks a woman must work to catch up to what her male counterpart earned in the previous year. Social and traditional media are full of inspirational stories and calls to action, but also stories that take issue with the arithmetic that led us to this day. And that controversy is exactly why the issue of gender pay equality remains an issue more than half a century later, and why today it’s critical for Americans to stop and think about the work that still needs to be done. (more…)
Sodexo North America
In 1972 Katharine Graham became America’s first female Fortune 500 CEO, leading The Washington Post Company, the fifth largest publishing company at the time, and under her leadership profits grew 20 percent annually from 1975 to 1985. She also became a role model and mentor for many women leaders in male-dominated fields and spoke openly about the issues they faced.
Last year the US hit a milestone with a record 27 female CEOs at the helm of S&P 500 companies. And while there has been progress since 1972, it has not been enough, especially when women are projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. (more…)
Gender equality in the workplace isn’t just a women’s issue. Male leaders can drive gender equality in executive leadership roles by proactively advocating for female leaders in their organizations. As recently noted in Sodexo’s 2016 Diversity report , women comprise 45 percent of the S&P 500 labor force, yet still only represent about 25 percent of executive or senior-level managers, and only 4 percent of CEOs. Here’s another important statistic: McKinsey & Company compared the financial performance of companies with a significant number of women in top management to those without women in top roles. The companies with the highest number of women leaders had the best performance, averaging 41 percent higher return on equity. (more…)
For over 100 years, International Women’s Day has been a reminder to recognize women’s contributions to the American workforce and economy. Women in the workplace have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go before women are treated equally to men when it comes to financial compensation and social acknowledgment at work. For example, men still receive more recognition at work for their successes than women according to a recent survey by Bamboo HR.
With this mind, consider these three Quality of Lifehacks for supporting women’s success in your organization in celebration of International Women’s Day and every other day of the year. (more…)
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Early this year McKinsey and LeanIn.org released their Women in the Workplace report, which found that women remain underrepresented across organizations—especially at senior levels of leadership. According to the report, women “experience an uneven playing field, with their odds of advancement lower at every level; there is a persistent leadership gap in the most senior roles; gender diversity is not widely believed to be a priority; and while employee programs designed to help balance work and family are abundant, participation is low among both sexes due to concerns that using them will negatively affect their careers.” (more…)