Women Entrepreneurs At The Top – I’m Still Hungry

Women Entrepreneurs At The Top – I’m Still Hungry

Watching the concluding episode of BBC 2’s Women at the Top with the fabulous Hilary Devey, I felt unsatisfied. A bit like the feeling you have after a Chinese meal. You feel full as you stand up from the circular rice covered table, but then hours later you are rummaging in the fridge for something else to eat. (Or is that just me??) Last night, Hilary and the production team at the BBC did a wonderful job of exposing us to innovative employers who think differently about how they can provide flexible working for their employees and cost effective and convenient childcare. These are fantastic places to start and I am sure would encourage more women to stay longer and work their way to the top. Or would it? I still don’t think the ultimate issue of corporate culture has been addressed enough. Why is it that smart, ambitious women who have their home lives organised to enable them to have a career still decide to leave? Yes, I know from my research that for those who are mothers, the flexibility of running their own business is appealing. And I also know from that research that these bright, ambitious women get fed up. They don’t want to play in this sandpit anymore, growing tired of the games and politics needed to elbow their way to the boardroom table. Here we have a conundrum, or do we need to be more patient? Do we hope that the innovative flexible working and child care solutions exposed last night do the trick, as more employees are exposed to this new way, that...
Women At The Top?  – Not in Corporates

Women At The Top? – Not in Corporates

Last night BBC 2 provided us with some gripping television which is a major feat considering the Paralympics are grabbing the viewing audience. Hilary Devey, a British multimillionaire entrepreneur, presented a programme called “Women At The Top.” Designed to discover why there are so few senior women in UK corporates. And a severe lack of women at the top. It was a great programme but it reminded me of the superficial presentations we all get a company induction day, that day when, after we start at a new company, all new recruits sit through hours of powerpoint presentations in a stuffy room having one manager after another show vision statements,  organisation charts and strategy slides in an effort to educate us about the business. And we learn about the business but we are never told the real nitty gritty of how the organisation really works, and how you need to behave to fit in and be a success. Women At The Top was a little like that. It did a great job in raising the issues and informing us of the reality of the inequity between the genders as the seniority of the positions changes. It gave brilliant examples of how women and men operate differently in groups and at the workplace. It showed how Proctor and Gamble examined the productivity of its project teams based on gender, and found that those with an equal balance performed 5% more effectively. And when your profit is close to $9 billion, a percentage point can make a massive difference to the dividend return. So why do I think it could have gone...
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