Getting Women to the Top

WallStreetJournal online tells a story about the steps to get women to the top that Mike Pitcher took when he joined LeasePlan. Based on his findings that women were the primary customers and employees...

"...LeasePlan began an effort to transform its corporate culture -- rooted in the old-boy network of fleet managers -- and promote more women. Executives hired a consultant to offer women career counseling, revised the company's pay plan to stress performance over longevity, and displaced some longtime managers. Today, three of the eight top executives are women, up from one in seven two years ago...Mr. Pitcher, now the company's chief executive, calls the initiative a strategic investment rather than 'the politically correct thing to do. 'LeasePlan doesn't build anything,' he says. "Our sustainable competitive advantage is our people.'"

When I launched one of the country's first internal women's initiatives, 2 of the actions we took were to have a salary equity review conducted and to offer career management workshops for women. Given continuing wage inequities, salary equity reviews (including performance-based versus longevity or attribute-based) should be a cornerstone of every women's initiative. I'm surprised that career counseling was deemed important at LeasePlan, but kudos for them for their results. And congratulations on the profile of their top executives. Getting closer to parity!

I've often said that with 50% of the management/professional pipeline being women, in true meritocracies there is no logical reason why 50% of senior management should not be women.

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