Diversity assessment – global sector benchmarking – ‘best in class’ executive leadership diversity – culture and employment mechanisms – performance enhancement through effective execution
A leading global B2C and B2B telecoms group found it was unable to replicate a gender diversity strategy which was very successful at lower management levels at the senior executive leadership level (top 50). Lack of gender diversity at the top was a trigger and a symptom for leadership disconnects, dysfunction – and departure. The company was seeking to reverse this and not lose out on the proven performance benefit of real gender diversity in its executive leadership.
The company therefore wanted to work out how to change its gender diversity strategy and implementation to be more effective at top executive leadership level, and to ensure that it was benchmarked against the top technology sector standards globally.
Eric was able to articulate an innovative solution to this problem which triggered changes to enhance exec-level gender diversity. This involved an interview-based survey of senior women across the top 25 telecoms and technology companies worldwide, in order to establish objectively what are the barriers and opportunities to top-level career growth for women in the technology sector.
Snapshot survey findings
Through 50+ comprehensive interviews of senior women in technology companies worldwide, Eric identified:
· That it was a gender-diverse ‘culture’ in the boardroom which cascaded down and was copied further down the organisation, and translated into greater female engagement at all levels
· That the benefit mechanisms for maternity leave and, in particular, for re-engagement after maternity leave, also played a part
· That technology companies with genuine gender diversity at the top leadership level achieved higher performance benchmarks in financial results, and as a ‘great place to work’ for all
· That gender diversity therefore provides a better leadership and governance template for top-performing organisations, which do not tolerate discrimination and seek to minimise unconscious bias
· That gender-diverse organisations tended towards fewer hidden agendas and therefore enhanced overall transparency, engagement and performance across the entire leadership.
Eric’s survey therefore highlighted:
ü where the client company ranked for gender diversity for the sector globally, and also
ü what changes were needed to match the sector benchmarks, and
ü how to implement them from the Board and CEO down for maximum ‘cultural’ impact.
This has had subsequent knock-on beneficial effects on retention of senior female leaders, on executive leadership diversity and on executive leadership team cohesion and performance.