The Health of the Pipeline

Intending to study processes for identifying and developing high potential employees, DDI stumbled upon a disturbing finding - men and women are increasingly viewed differently as they move up the ladder. (Why am I not surprised?)

The report, titled Holding Women Back - Troubling Discoveries and Best Practices for Helping Female Leaders Succeed, included these findings:
  • 50% of the participating companies identify high potential employees who receive accelerated development opportunities.
  • At first-level management, there are 28% more men than women identified as high-potential.
  • At the executive level, the gap increases to 50%.
  • At the executive level 41% of men have multinational experience, only 25% of women.
  • In companies where women overall are tokens or in the minority, they saw drastic fall-off in the % of women identified as high potential from first-level to executive management.
  • In industries with gender balance overall, women at the first level represent half of managers, but around 1/3 at the executive level.
  • In majority-women industries where women represent 80% of first level managers, they only hold 35% of executive positions.
  • In all industries, men are more likely to be viewed as high-potential.
As long as women believe conventional wisdom about leadership with its over-focus on interpersonal skills and personal excellence, we will never be able to reverse these trends.

To be seen as high-potential women have to develop...and, strategic and financial acumen. These are essential ingredients for leadership success in business and they are topics that I address head-on in my new book, No Ceiling, No Walls.

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women. She blogs on networking for PINK Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.
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