Give Your Women Leaders the Space, Support and Capabilities They Need to Succeed
The quality of the experience of your women leaders improves your bottom line. If you want a return, give leaders the time and space to work on themselves.
By Audrey McGuckin, CEO, WOTW -
Several weeks ago, we hosted the in-person Women On Their Way Navigator Cohort session. Women leaders from various backgrounds, states, and industries, gathered to spend two full days learning, replenishing, connecting, and growing their leadership skills. They spent time unearthing limiting behaviors and mindsets and unlocking their fullest potential. The most amazing part of this experience was that these women leaders had the sponsorship and financial support from their managers to take two full days to grow themselves and their leadership capabilities.
As one of our participants said, “Navigator has enabled me to see things differently. It has helped with a larger perspective from my daily job and my career.” In other words the space to gain new perspectives.
We have spoken to hundreds of women who are excited to be a part of WOTW but they are worried about asking their managers for the time and space to invest in themselves. To some leaders, giving employees the time and space to reflect and build new skills might feel like a luxury (especially with the fear of a looming recession). However, time and space is EXACTLY what your women leaders need. Leaders cannot develop career aspirations if employees don’t have time and space in the day to reflect on what they want and where they are going.
Why is downtime and reflection so important? Gallup recently found that how employees experience their workload has a stronger influence. In fact, the quality of their experience at work has 2.5-3 times more impact on their wellbeing and burnout rates than even the number of days or hours worked. In other words, give your employees the time and space to recoup and reflect and you will have a workforce that is more committed and ready to work hard and get the job done.
If that’s not enough to convince you:
- McKinsey & Company found companies that invest in DEI outperformed their peers by 20%.
- According to a report by The Execul Search Group, 86% of professionals said that they would change jobs if a new company offered them more opportunities for professional development.
- A survey of 22,000 companies found that those organizations who have women in approximately 30% of the management positions were more profitable than those who do not put women in power.
- A University of Texas study found women bring “more skills and better performance to the c-suite.”
Ways to Create Time & Space for Your Leaders:
- Engage with your women leaders. An easy way to create immediate space for leaders is to ask them questions about their aspirations via 1:1 meetings. This shows that you care as a leader and that your employees have your support. 3 simple questions can do the job:
1. What are your aspirations for your role here and your career?
2. How can we invest in your development?
3. How can I be involved in your development or be held accountable for your development?
- Empower them to enroll in a leadership development group. The biggest gift you can give women leaders are the skills they need to navigate the corporate system. Be sure that the program you select teaches them how to network effectively, advocate for themselves, map their career, and advance their skills. For example, our year-long Navigator program gives Director and VP level women several hours each month to learn and grow. A new Navigator session is launching this month!
- Give them the time and space to attend a leadership development conference. Our next WOTW 2022 CONFERENCE takes place October 18th and November 2nd. This conference is devoted to helping women dream bigger and navigate their career path.
- Transform your company at the systems level. We offer WOTW Compass, a corporate consulting solution that tackles gender equity at a systems level by integrating cultural and strategic changes geared to advance women to higher levels of leadership. WOTW Compass helps leaders see, understand, and address the systemic blocks to women’s advancement, staying power, and success. Reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more.