The folks at AlexanderHancock are astute at understanding the opportunity and developing a program to meet the needs of your business regardless of the industry you are in, because their sweet spot is developing leaders.

— Sheri Southern
EVP Human Resources
Knowledge Universe

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Women In Leadership: Professional Development For Women

According to a study released in 2010 by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, women are grossly under-represented in executive positions. Women hold only 10.4% of the board seats and highest-paid executive officer positions. That’s one woman for every nine men in the top leadership roles at the 400 high-profile public companies surveyed.

Over the past forty years, women have made significant advances in leadership positions in the business world, yet women still face unique challenges in many organizations. Although overt discrimination and harassment have largely disappeared, subtle cultural patterns of behavior – in both women and men – continue to present obstacles to women’s success. As a result, businesses, particularly those in traditionally male-dominated industries, may be limiting their success by not fully tapping into the talents and capabilities of 50% of their population.

Our research shows that women still do not receive the career guidance, coaching, and mentoring that have enabled men to advance to higher levels of responsibility.  Our surveys and interviews with over 1100 women show that many women feel helpless to address these issues and don’t know how to surface them without drawing negative attention. Clearly much remains to be done to build a culture in which talented people – men and women - are identified, encouraged, and nurtured, to the benefit of the business enterprise.

In the meantime, women must take responsibility for their own careers and their own futures. To do this, they need confidence, skill, persistence, and courage, as well as tools for managing their careers.

Providing professional development for women in your organization, and equipping them  with confidence, skills, and tools, helps you achieve important benefits:

  • A larger pool of talent from which to draw future leaders
  • Retention of talented, highly motivated potential future leaders
  • Prevent talented women from getting derailed or disheartened
  • Greater “bench strength” for special projects and responsibilities
  • Enhanced perception of your company as an employer of choice that values everyone’s contribution

Women in Leadership Training highlights:

  • Identify challenges facing women in leadership positions at your company
  • The politics of gender: understanding differences in male-female communication and leadership styles
  • Role models: what we can learn from successful female leaders
  • Know yourself: Assess your own capabilities as a leader with 360 degree feedback, personality assessments, and interviews with your managers
  • Navigating the system: obstacles to success for women in the company culture, and resources to overcome these obstacles
  • What every woman needs to know: skills for communicating professionally and assertively, and handling conflict
  • How to trust your judgment and make confident, assertive recommendations
  • Taking charge of your career: Strategies and plans for increasing success both personally and professionally
  • How to find and work with a mentor
  • How to match your capabilities to the Company’s needs

Women in Leadership Methodology

Participants in Women in Leadership prepare for the session with an in-depth analysis of their strengths and development needs with their own supervisor. They also complete several personality assessments, and receive feedback through our InnerView360™ assessment.  Participants also gain insight and skills through customized exercises and case studies.

We recommend that a woman executive in your Company meet with the class and speak about her own journey as a leader, her challenges and successes, the lessons she learned along the way, and the pitfalls and opportunities.  This session also includes a question and answer dialogue with participants.

Women in Leadership Customized Solutions

To ensure that training is not just an “event,” but instead produces enduring results, we customize Women in Leadership to fit your unique situation, business strategy, culture, and people.  After discussion with you and other experts within your organization, we select the emphasis, specific skills to be developed, key learning points, exercises, and case studies for practice to create a solution tailored just for you.

Women in Leadership Applications

The following are some of the ways our clients have used custom versions of Women in Leadership:

  • To prepare aspiring prospective women leaders for leadership roles
  • To increase the number of women moving up from first line to middle management
  • To increase awareness of developmental opportunities and resources within the company that are available to women
  • To support a program mentoring women in business
  • To increase awareness of elements in the organizational landscape that can lead to derailment for women and for men

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