Talent Management: How To Be A Girl Magnet

blog Jan 31, 2016

Yes, you CAN attract women to your work place. 

According to a 2015 CEO poll by Weber Shandwick only 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. The 2015 UC Davis Study of Women Business Leaders shows that women hold only 12.3% of California's Fortune 400 key leadership positions. Shocked? We should be!

So what does it take to attract great women to your workplace?

Here's what women look for at work:

Men who "get" it - Interestingly, this often means men who have a working mom or grandma or at least one daughter. Watching your mom do it all, or fathering a real live girl changes everything for most men. When you ask your job applicants "Who do you most admire and why?", notice if their answer is a woman. When you ask them, "What have you learned from your children?", listen closely to their answers. If most of your work-force is childless millenial guys, you're doomed to a self-fulfilling vortex of maleness. 

Teams not Fiefdoms - You can tell right away whether you're in a "Winner-take-all"or a "We did it!" culture. Women prefer the latter. Sheryl Sandberg nails it when she tells us that women must sit at the table, but what's going on at your table once everyone is seated? What is the balance of hubris vs generosity in your conversations? A lot of engineering-centric companies are talkin' teamwork but they're walkin' all-about-me, chest thumpin' , he's-the-man, awesomeness. It's a guy thing. And when it's happening a lot of us run for the nearest exit. 

Real Mentors - A real mentor is someone who is more consistently invested in your success than you are. A real mentor has 20/20 vision of your potential and they are very motivated to see you achieve it. Sadly, all our recent studies show that women are less self-confident than men when they're at work. We need mentors capable of doubling down on us when we want to give up. Accept this. Now lean-in and fully invest in the advancement of your feminine workforce. Who are you are mentoring? How far will you go to enable her success?

Women on Top - If you have more than 10 employees and have been in business for more than 5 years, there's no excuse for not having at least one woman in a senior leadership position. If you don't, then no whining aloud about the war for talent. You are barring half of the available talent pool at your door. Do whatever it takes - promote, train, buy or steal - to fix this woman-deflecting signal. 

Barbara Shannon is a CEO coach and advisor to mid-market businesses. Her CEO peer groups, TheCEOBoard and ATHENA - The Peer Group for Exceptional Women Solopreneurs, provide high-performance direction, coaching and networking to a select collective of exceptional Bay Area business leaders. Barbara is a seeker of CEO clients who pair a holistic view of business, community, and family with a persistent drive for personal and professional growth.
If you're curious about Barbara's CEO groups or would like to inquire regarding elite private client service, please email [email protected]
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