Supporting gender equity, women and business development
Research shows that gender balance on corporate boards has multiple advantages: it increases client retention by 12% compared to businesses which don’t present such balance. As a result, employees show a higher commitment, brand image increases by up to 5% and, both profitability and the ability to innovate are also substantially improved.
It’s no secret that any company intending to remain competitive in their market will need to incorporate innovative processes while keeping their margins safe, so diversifying their committees is one of the best options to accomplish this successfully.
This was precisely the objective a company from the financial sector decided to make their own. Their Board of Directors hadn’t had any female presence for a long time and it was considered necessary to incorporate women in order to diversify perspectives and improve decision making. This company came to Talengo looking for advisory services to achieve the diversification and gender balance of their board, while avoiding hiring externally.
Preparing internal female talent to develop their professional career within the organization, while aiming to reach fair competition between men and women for the job openings in the Board, as there was a tendency for applicants to be male.
Train women in the organization to develop and empower their competencies by being mentored by their leadership team, while counting with Talengo’s accompaniment and leadership. During this process, we worked on their soft skills and personal brand, while focusing on preparing them to apply for the job openings and get selected based on their work capabilities, experience and knowledge.
Development programs with specialized mentors (VPs) were created in order to overcome internal and external barriers that were affecting the organization, while making these more visible.
Some of the women who took part in this process have been selected to join the executive committee for their capabilities, skills, attitude and performance. One of them was selected for a high level management position in another country where the company has a subsidiary.
This led to the organization benefiting from diversity by achieving complex business indicators, higher performance, profitability and innovation. It’s not about mere solidarity or empathy, it impacts on business results.
The organization has also grown more solid with new female employees coming from other companies, as it has created a diversity culture and given their business more reliability. During our advisory process, the company realized they were saving time in hiring processes, as women in the company performed well, and this was sustained by the knowledge transfer of those who had kept the company running.
The process lasted about a year, as all initiatives entailing specialized professional development need to be addressed step by step in order to be implemented successfully.
Steps and stages:
The process was conducted under the framework of a leadership program aimed at identifying high performing female talents. The women selected underwent a development process that allowed them to be in the same position as their male peers so that, when the company opened new vacancies for the Board, they could compete equally.
While being mentored, they began to take part in different committees, in addition to which they worked on their self-confidence, influence, assertive communication, as well as on overcoming barriers faced by dual career women – when a professional woman is a mum or head of the household too, there’s a need to learn new resources that help them strike the right balance between work and personal life.
The success of the process was largely due to the introduction of the mentoring element, as it was a constant accompaniment led by the organization’s president and his executive committee, who put themselves forward as mentors.
It’s important to stress that the main objective was to generate fair competition when different gender candidates applied to be a member of the Board, avoiding making the mistake of hiring women to reach a quota, but rather facilitating the entry of female talent into managerial roles for the business to gain new perspectives and achieve good results.
Assisting the executive committee in the transformation of the business
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