Many argue that the influx of ambitious women to universities and colleges means that more top jobs will go to women in future. This is probably not the case, says Maria Nelsson a strategy expert at PA Consulting Group. Maria believes the change is also needed in the workplace to achieve this.
A recent report from the Albright Foundation reveals that there are still few women in senior managerial positions in business. Women's advancement to the top jobs is slow and there are challenges that cannot be addressed by education and legislation alone.
"The managerial role needs to be modernised and managerial responsibilities defused. Employers must be sensitive to the needs and demands of their younger female employees. Otherwise, they risk being unable to recruit the people they need for skilled positions."
Employers need to make the following changes to management positions to make them more attractive to women:
- put the focus on leadership rather than management
- emphasise values and responsibilities rather than structural changes
- focus on long-term, sustainable results and profitability rather than on quarterly figures
- emphasise life balance, shared leadership and delegation, instead of the notion of ‘the indispensable leader'
- provide coaching and mentoring for potential leaders to ensure they develop the right skills over time.
Maria Nelsson is a strategy expert at PA Consulting Group
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