Learn why it is important to provide leadership coaching and training specifically for women – equality versus equity.
I used to feel uncomfortable about women only training and networking events and yet instinctively I knew that they were important. This is why I have run many networking and assertiveness workshops for women and am currently enjoying facilitating the Elevating Women in Leadership workshops with LHH.
From the latest research into the barriers for women in the workplace and why some women are more successful than others, combined with my work, more recently around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, I now know logically why they are so important.
It is fascinating to read about the behaviours and beliefs that differentiate the women who successfully navigate their way to senior leadership roles. This also shows that there are certain behaviours and qualities that are expected in the workplace that women aren’t so naturally strong at, such as dealing with workplace politics, networking with key stakeholders, and talking about their strengths.
The difference between equality and equity
Now that I understand the difference between equality (treating everyone the same) and equity (ensuring fair and equal access to opportunities), I know that women need more specific training and coaching, than their male counterparts, in the areas that they are not so naturally strong at.
Just as someone working in a supermarket might need some steps to reach the top shelf and someone with dyslexia might need some special software to be able to do the same job as their colleagues.
These specific development opportunities are part of giving women the same opportunities, putting them on a level playing field with their male counterparts in business.
A lot has changed since I started my banking career in the early 80’s and yet we still have a long way to go before there is a more equal gender mix at all levels of an organisation.
Mary Portas describes her vision for this equitable workplace in her book Work Like a Woman as:
Working like a woman is not about replacing an alpha system with an exclusively feminine one. It’s about learning to value the power of feminine characteristics, embracing them in the way we work and blending the best of both genders to make us all more productive, powerful and in harmony.Mary Portas, Work Like a Woman
For now, I am comfortable with providing women with the additional support they need to succeed in their career through leadership coaching and training.