I Spy – A Woman in a Leadership Role

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Charlene McTier Charlene McTier 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #124773
    Profile photo of Megan Dotson
    Megan Dotson
    Keymaster

    Earlier today GovLoop held a Live Chat with Deloitte’s Anne Weisberg and Sally D’Amato who are the co-authors for two recent reports: Paths to Power – Advancing women in Government & The Gender Dividend – Making the Business Case for Investing in Women.

    Here is the transcript from the chat:

    Throughout the 30 minutes Anne and Sally answered several great questions! Here are questions that will continue to be answered on this discussion thread; if you find you have more please provide your comments, questions and feedback in the comments section below.

    1. We have trouble getting mentors or sponsors in my federal agency 🙁 Also, can’t we move up and have meaning without joining management?

    2. Sometimes I think the message that reaches women is that it’s not worth trying to climb the ladder, or break the glass ceiling. Look at the numbers of women in the house and the senate. Horrid…but why?

    3. I’d like to know what stats/research you have on the reasons women are not at the top in earnings.

    4. What can the government specifically do to dial up and dial down women’s careers? What are examples?

    5. What is something that attracts women to building their business networks?

    6. Women in the Scandinavian countries have much higher representation, and even in countries like Rwanda than the US does. What has convinced their populace to elect more women?

    7. Thank you for the report – my question, among those who have reached higher levels of power, what were the conditions that got them there, to be replicated by others?

    8. My question is, what has changed since the report on women in public sector came out? Given the economic and political situation, have things gotten worse or better for women in public sector?

    9. Is the disparity due to the board makeup (mostly men)?

    10. Can we get more tips on how to be better change agents?

  • #124791
    Profile photo of Charlene McTier
    Charlene McTier
    Participant

    Good transcript. Where do we go from here? How about a weekly follow-up chat and getting questions ahead of time? Maybe FEW could brief us on some of their findings.

    Thank you for the two pdfs — great information about women generally and how they are faring globally.

  • #124789
    Profile photo of Shannon Kennedy
    Shannon Kennedy
    Participant

    It was a great chat!

  • #124787
    Profile photo of Steve Lunceford
    Steve Lunceford
    Participant

    Thanks to all for joining yesterday! Sally and Anne really enjoyed engaging with everyone and are working on responses to the questions above, so stay tuned to this thread.

    They both also left the chat thinking that Deloitte’s research and expertise in this area could be of interest to the GovLoop community in a way that extends beyond just a 30 minute chat. To Charlene’s point earlier: “where do we go from here?” Don’t know if we have the answer, but we’re interested in the potential. Would you like to see more along these lines in the future? Maybe chats or webinars around specific themes like networking or mentoring, etc?

  • #124785
    Profile photo of Steve Ressler
    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    That would be cool. What do you think would be useful Charlene? Any topics specifically interest you?

  • #124783
    Profile photo of Charlene McTier
    Charlene McTier
    Participant

    Well, first of all GOVLOOP has so many interesting topics. Maybe we need to start a group on Women’s advancement and pathways to power initiative. What do you think? This would be a first baby step.

    Since March is National Women’s Month, maybe this is an opportune time to continue the efforts led by our predecessors. Topics I’d like to see:

    • Federally Employed Women {FEW) efforts, studies, and findings
    • Developing qualities needed for 21st Century leadership.
    • Emotional Intelligence in the workplace
    • Cultivating Global Intelligence to increase understanding
    • Mining Women’s Educational Wealth to mentor future generations
    • Partnering with our global sisters on women’s issues
    • Rules of Engagement for Women in the Workplace

    Phew — thanks for letting me jumpstart some ideas!

  • #124781

    Charlene, your idea for a women’s power initiative group is a great one! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help get something like that started. I’m a FEW member and we are working on a mentoring program within our organization, among other things.

  • #124779
    Profile photo of Charlene McTier
    Charlene McTier
    Participant

    Wow, that’s great! Mentoring is essential and is key to making people successful!

    Since FEW has the CLOUT, maybe you all can jumpstart the Women’s Power Initiative and partner with us all regarding these topics.

    Think about it.

  • #124777
    Profile photo of Steve Lunceford
    Steve Lunceford
    Participant

    Anne and Sally divvied up the questions they didn’t get to in the livechat and have provided the following answers….

    Q1. We have trouble getting mentors or sponsors in my federal agency 🙁 Also, can’t we move up and have meaning without joining management?

    A. (Anne) first, remember that mentors and sponsors are different and serve distinct purposes. A mentor is someone whom you can turn to for advice – from advice on where to go next to advice on how to find a good day care center. A sponsor is someone who helps you get your next promotion by not just giving you advice but actually throwing your name in the ring. But for both types of relationships, it has to be mutually beneficial. The best way to get a mentor is to think about what you can bring to the table – and then go ask! I am proud to call Sally my mentor, and we have that relationship because I reached out to her to let her know what I was doing, and ask her for her advice. I also let her know how I could help her through my own networks. Similarly, the best way to get a sponsor is to go above and beyond for that person – so that he or she will trust you to have their back, and do what needs to get done.

    Q2. Sometimes I think the message that reaches women is that it’s not worth trying to climb the ladder, or break the glass ceiling. Look at the numbers of women in the house and the senate. Horrid…but why?

    A. (Sally) It’s a combination of systemic issues, cultural assumptions, and individual choices. At Deloitte, when we started the Women’s Initiative in 1993, we looked very closely at why women were leaving at a higher rate than men, and what we found was that it was both a work environment that was not friendly to women and career development systems that often operated through informal networks that women weren’t a part of – all of which made women feel the tradeoffs they were making on the home front weren’t worth it. There is no single answer to this question…it is complex. But it is not intractable, as Deloitte has shown.

    Q3. I’d like to know what stats/research you have on the reasons women are not at the top in earnings.

    A. (Sally) The new report issued by the White House Office of Women and Girls gives at least a partial answer to this question – women are more likely to be in professions that pay less, and women are more likely to work less than full time for a period of time during their careers. However, a Catalyst study found that even when controlling for experience, age, etc., women MBA students enter the workforce at a lower point than men MBA students. Part of this may be attributable to the fact that most women do not negotiate the conditions of their first job, while most men do. Negotiating is more complex for women than for men, but women who do learn how to negotiate are better positioned for success.

    Q4. What can the government specifically do to dial up and dial down women’s careers? What are examples?

    A. (Anne) Dialing down can mean working less than full time, to working from home most of the time, to staying at a certain level for longer than the norm (dialing down pace) so that the scope of your responsibilities doesn’t increase. Dialing up can mean giving people stretch assignments or stretch goals that give them the opportunity to perform at a higher level than they are currently performing. If they succeed, this can result in accelerated promotions. There are lots of examples of people who have dialed up or down everywhere, so my suggestion is that you go to http://www.masscareercustomization.com, and plot your own career journey – and then share it with those around you. Ask your boss to do the same…it’s remarkable to hear all the different ways people have dialed up and down.

    Q5. What is something that attracts women to building their business networks?

    A. (Anne) Most women are really good at building relationships, but they may not be as good at using those relationships in the workplace to get them where they want to go. If this describes you, then think about forming networks around something of common interest – and then take very opportunity to showcase your skills to those within the network. Then, when you need to ask for something from someone in the network, you won’t hesitate!

    Q6. Women in the Scandinavian countries have much higher representation, and even in countries like Rwanda than the US does. What has convinced their populace to elect more women?

    A.(Sally) The Scandinavian countries have made gender equity a national priority – and it shows. In Rwanda, the massacres meant that women were 70 percent of the population – and the leader of that country felt there would never be peace until the women were included in the policy making. In 2010, women hold a majority of the government positions at very high levels and have women’s issues in mind. One small but potent example is that every police district/station has a gender desk for reporting and managing crimes of violence against women.

    Q7. Thank you for the report – my question, among those who have reached higher levels of power, what were the conditions that got them there, to be replicated by others?

    A. (Anne) We learned in researching Paths to Power that there is no one path and no one set of individual attributes, but all the women we spoke with had a great deal of resilience – they were not afraid to fail and didn’t give up – as well as an innate curiosity and desire to learn.

    Q8. My question is, what has changed since the report on women in public sector came out? Given the economic and political situation, have things gotten worse or better for women in public sector?

    A. (Sally) It’s mixed – in some areas, when have gained or at least held ground, but in other areas, women have lost ground.

    Q9. Is the disparity due to the board makeup (mostly men)?

    A. (Anne) To the extent that the Board does doesn’t keep these issues front and center, then the Board is not using its authority to promote change in this area.

    Q10. Can we get more tips on how to be better change agents?

    A. (Sally) Bring people together to build your organization’s own case for change. What percentage of your constituents are women? What percentage of your talent pool are women? How much is it costing your organization in turnover to lose women? The Gender Dividend has a whole series of questions to ask so you can construct your own, customized business case for investing in women.

  • #124775
    Profile photo of Linda Wooten
    Linda Wooten
    Participant

    US OPM’s Center for Leadership Development at the Western Management Development Center is offering a class you may be interested in attending – The Womens Leadership Seminar in Aurora, Colorado from June 17-21 2013. The full tuition is $3500, which includes course materials, food and lodging. For $3045, course materials and lunch are included only, and you will have to find your own hotel lodging, etc.

    This seminar help prepare women in senior leadership positions. Some of the objectives include examining organizational cultures, emotional intelligence, unwritten rules and strategies for overcoming barriers to discover your own leadership style.

    Senior women leaders in Government who have insight into what it takes to be a successful leader will share their experiences with you.

    And, you will work in small groups to build an action plan for leadership success and support others during the implementation.

    For more information here is the WLS flyer.

    If you are interested, contact our Customer Service Office at Toll-Free: 888-676-9632. Leadership Development Website

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