May 22

Women in Leadership

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Jenna Clifford, Blanka Sulentic & Louise Mowbray

I have been deeply privileged to deliver two keynotes on Women in Leadership in the last week.  The first was in London for PwC UK’s Partners and Directors, and the second was in Johannesburg for Regenesys Business School.  For the second, I delivered alongside Jenna Clifford on building Personal Leadership Brand.  Thank you Blanka Sulentic for making it all happen and Jenna for a truly inspiring speech.  It so happens (as it does), that I received a mail full of stats from Katie Demain of iOpener Institute and The Science of Happiness at Work™ whilst I was working on my presentation (thank you Katie) and it goes like this:

A recent Mc Kinsey study identified 5 Leadership Essentials to attract and retain women:

  1. Meaning – to love what you do and feel it matters (Dave Ulrich)
  2. Positive Framing – learning to view situations as optimists do (Martin Seligman)
  3. Connecting – supporting each other and leveraging the collective “power of many”
  4. Engaging – getting and taking opportunities
  5. Managing Energy – a sense of being so engaged you don‚t notice the passage of time (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

BRG, the global partner of iOpener Institute UK, recently analysed over 2000 South African employees responses to the iPPQ based on our Performance Happiness Model™ analytics and it was found that women:

  1. report they feel less able to raise issues that are important to them in the workplace
  2. report they are less listened to than men at work
  3. score themselves lower when asked if they are respected by their bosses
  4. and also score lower in respect of being recognised in their organisations

On the flip side, women:

  1. score higher than men in terms of level of engagement at work
  2. on the whole, believe they are doing something worthwhile and that their job has a positive impact on the world; more so than men.

In South Africa…

Over and above our findings in the Science of Happiness at Work™ studies, there is still a stark reality.  The reality is that women account for only 10% of CEO positions, 32% CFO‚s and 15% of board positions in South Africa. 21% of SA organisations have no women representation in senior management positions. A recent study by the Nielsen Company that examines the consumer and media habits of women in emerging and developed countries rated  SA #7 out of 21 companies in terms of stress levels – with 64% of SA women diagnosed as stressed. Another reality is that companies who have successfully achieved gender parity are the happier companies.



Louise Mowbray, South Africa, Women in Leadership

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