Some say the best way to help a woman rise up the corporate ranks is to pair her with a seasoned mentor who will bestow his knowledge and share his hard-earned experience with her. But Beth Brooke, global vice-chairwoman of public policy at Ernst & Young, doesn’t buy it.
Alyse Nelson is the president and chief executive of Vital Voices, a Washington, DC-based group that trains female civic and business leaders in emerging economies.
Political leaders advocating measures in the short term to ensure a long-term solution to the global debt crisis is a concept with which we have all become familiar. But are business leaders following the mantra of short-term steps for long-term gain when it comes to their own leadership strategy?
In a business environment where competition, employees and teams are becoming more global, and stakeholder groups are more diverse, what are the characteristics of an effective business leader in the 21st century? And where do women fit into this picture?
In my previous blog post I quoted from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recent report bemoaning the lack of women in leading positions, including in politics.
It motivated me to research just how many of today’s presidents and national leaders were female.
The list, I am reasonably sure, is 20-strong. Mary McAleese, who has served as president of Ireland since November 1997, is the veteran in terms of tenure, while half the list have been in their posts for less than 18 months. The latest addition is Yingluck Shinawatra – younger sister of deposed Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra – who was appointed as prime minister of Thailand not even a month ago.
The list (ordered by date of appointment):
- President Mary McAleese (Ireland)
- President Tarja Halonen (Finland)
- Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany)
- President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia)
- President Pratibha Patil (India)
- President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Argentina)
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed (Bangladesh)
- Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir (Iceland)
- Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (Croatia)
- President Dalia Grybauskaite (Lithuania)
- President Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan)
- President Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica)
- Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Australia)
- Prime Minister Iveta Radicová (Slovakia)
- President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
- President Micheline Calmy-Rey (Switzerland)
- Prime Minister Rosario Fernández (Peru)
- President Atifete Jahjaga (Kosovo)
- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Thailand)
With presidential elections coming up next year in both the US and France, what are the chances of the two poster girls of the right – Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National, and Michele Bachmann, queen of the Tea Party – joining this list?
There is a bundle of academic research showing that women tend to be more risk averse than men. In business, this plays out in a number of ways.
Executive coaching companies are keen publishers of their insights, and my bookshelf of titles on women at the top includes a good few. Usually I do not blog about them, and believe me, you should be grateful.
But last week I came across a book that should be read by any aspiring career woman (or man). Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power, by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath and Mary Davis Holt, distils the experience of the authors’ decades of coaching experience and their careers at senior levels of large companies.
Most days this blog is about women at the top of their careers − chief executives, other C-suiters and the challenges they faced as they climbed up the corporate ladder. Today, however, I would like to focus on an extraordinary organisation that helps women at the bottom of the ladder.
Earlier this week, the Royal Navy announced that Lieutenant Commander Sarah West would take command of HMS Portland, a type-32 frigate, in April next year. She will be the first woman in the service’s 500-year history to command a British warship.
The gradual − some would say belated − infiltration by women of the upper ranks of military forces is beginning to accelerate.
I am not much of a betting woman, but the leadership vacuum at the top of London’s Metropolitan Police has created something of a frenzy of interest at the country’s bookmakers.
The two top jobs at Scotland Yard are up for grabs, as Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner, and John Yates, assistant commissioner, have fallen on their swords in the phone-hacking scandal. Two of Britain’s most senior policewomen are in the running; were either of them to be successful, it would be a first for the Met.