On the 10th February KMi welcomed back one of our co-founders, Lady Kitty Chisholm. Kitty is director of Boardwalk, a professional coach and facilitator supporting women in achieving their full leadership potential. Kitty has also recently co-authored a new book (published Nov, 2015) ‘Championing Women Leaders, Beyond Sponsorship’.
Kitty delivered an insightful and inspirational talk entitled ‘Women in Leadership: what really gets in the way and how to overcome the barriers‘. In her talk Kitty presented studies, which suggest that gender diversity can be beneficial to organisations by boosting creativity and innovation. However, while the benefit to organisations is apparent, gender diversity in the workplace is still a challenge. She presented statistics showing that a high percentage of women in some sectors (e.g., IT) dropout from senior management positions. Some of these statistics suggest that the problem is not about recruitment but retention of women in the workforce.
She mentioned that some of the factors that get on the way of women careers are deeply related to the organisational culture and the lack of assertiveness in women. She introduced a set of recommendations on how women can overcome such barriers. She suggested reinforcing women self-confidence by embodying a set of values, having a set of clear goals and by owning your career.
Her talk led onto an interesting discussion and shared of experiences. Some of the comments’ discussions included personal branding and social media; and issues related to the perception of women at work.
Tracie Farrell-Frey, a post grad student in KMi enjoyed the session, saying " this meeting was about helping women to feel empowered to pursue whatever professional goals they might have, which is a great first step. The next step, recognising that context also plays a huge role in advancing or limiting women’s careers, would be to deal with some of the elements of organisational culture that impact the success of women employees"
You can watch the recording here