"Women are the next emerging market, and supporting them is good for business." - Beth Brooke, Ernst & Young
Women are the untapped resource of the next decade.When Sheryl Sandberg stepped on the TED stage and called on us to Lean In, she wasn't only speaking from a woman's perspective, but was also making a strategic investment in her organization. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is in competition for top talent, and that means you! Women are a population of relatively untapped resources.
The economic potential of the growing 1 billion women in the workforce is being called the "Third Billion", comparing it to the economic potential of China's and India's populations (Ernst & Young, 2012).
Facebook and Ernst & Young aren't alone in their pitch for the top female talent. Intel, Unilever, Ikea, PepsiCo and Burberry are just a few of many who have made headway in empowering and engaging top female talent, by going beyond lip-service, and transforming diversity and inclusiveness into tangible actions.
Creating a pool of talented women starts early, evidenced by Google's Made With Code for girls initiative, which aims at motivating future female programs, Qualcomm's QCamp For Girls, which has girls pre-6th grade building circuits, coding, designing apps, and making robotic hats and LED jewelry boxes and Girls Who Code whose programs work to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.
"Empowering women, engaging women is an economic input, which drives profitability." - Erika Kapp, Cornerstone Capital Group Founder & CEO
You, us, women are the majority of new talent. We are loyal and hard working employees. We are consumers. We have more buying power than ever before. We are entrepreneurs and are filling supply chains. We are becoming the best clients of tomorrow.
We are the next emerging market.
Empowering and engaging women to reach their potential is on the forefront of the agenda in every forward-thinking organization out there (see PwC's Gender Agenda, Ernst & Young's Commitment to Women's Leadership, and the War for Women Talent in Emerging Markets).
What does this mean for you?
You are in the driver's seat! And fortunately there are a number of employer's out there, ready to invest in you.
Here's what to look for in a prospective employer:
You are a talented, career-focused woman. And organizations out there know it. Now go get 'em!
To your success,
In educated, progressive societies around the world, we tell our children that boys and girls are equally smart and capable and we know this to be true. We have policies on non-discrimination for gender, race, and sexual orientation.
We are firm in our beliefs that women and men are both capable of being tremendous leaders, equally capable of running businesses and leading academic institutions. Yet very few women are sitting in these top positions, and we wonder why? Are women not trying? Surely not. So then, are we unconsciously keeping them down? As it turns out, yes we are.
The results show:
It starts early and has long-term effects
Maybe the most surprising fact is how early the gender bias begins. In a recent study of elementary school teachers, girls outscored boys in exams when graded anonymously, but boys outscored the girls when graded by teachers who knew their names.
The study, which took place in Israel, spanned 10 years worth of data, following three sets of students from 6-12th grade.
As reported in the NY Times 'The effect was not the same for tests on other subjects, like English and Hebrew. The researchers concluded that in math and science, the teachers overestimated the boys’ abilities and underestimated the girls’, and that this had long-term effects on students’ attitudes toward the subjects.”
They also tracked the advanced math and science courses that students chose to take in high school. After controlling for other factors that might affect their choices, they concluded that "the girls who had been discouraged by their elementary school teachers were much less likely than the boys to take advanced courses".
In my next blog piece we'll look into 'it's unconscious'.
To your success,