I was pleased to read in Forbe’s 2018 recent report “America’s Best Employers for Women” that two Houston energy companies were included – each with well over 23,000 employees. Having worked as a leadership coach and consultant in the energy industry for years, I’m grateful for the gains made as women fill more boardrooms and executive roles. Still for companies to be truly great places for all people to work there is much more to do and learn from female CEOs who have blazed the trail for others.
Korn Ferry Institute published its shared research with Rockefeller Foundation in an effort to help accelerate and sustain a pipeline of women in leadership by 2025. The findings were taken from interviews with 57 female CEO’s of Fortune 1000 companies with some private companies included, about the meaningful elements that shaped their journey to CEO. Of these, 40% started in STEM programs and 17% came from business studies. The report noted that these backgrounds gave women a useful framework for gaining business credibility and accountability and generating broad enterprise outcomes at work.
The report bore a reassuring resemblance to my own experience coaching women in energy and other operations-based sectors. The findings are actionable and warrant repeating as leaders at all levels can and should be helping 50% of the workforce contribute by filling senior leadership roles. Here’s a few of the findings I found compelling:
As Mentors – for women in early career levels:
As Sponsors – for mid – to – later career levels:
As Organizations committed to increasing the number of talented women in leadership implementing formal practices that support their access to executive roles boosts effectiveness. Here are three early recommendations that I found to be potent (and difficult):
When coaching women in leadership I’ve found great similarity in coaching ‘themes’ with male counterparts with one big exception – women have fewer if any, female role models. Thanks to the companies making room for women’s opportunities for more senior and executive roles. I’m looking forward to continued news from the energy sector and the tremendously talented women filling its pipeline of senior leadership roles.