4 Ways to Prevent Gender Inequality in Leadership

How does your organization approach gender bias?


Elba Pareja-Gallagher, founder and president of Show Me 50—an organization with a mission to help level the playing field for working women—discusses four solutions that will help bridge the gap with gender inequality.

“Management positions are held by more than 50 percent women, yet only 5 percent are CEOs and roughly 20-25 percent are at senior leadership positions,” Elba points out. “At Show Me 50, we've developed a strategic program to train employees on the four solutions.”

They are defined by...

  1. Openness 
  2. Transparency
  3. Flexibility
  4. Training

Watch the video for specifics on how these four values will build gender congruency within your organization.

One of the interesting things I have found in my work is that a lot of people aren't aware of the statistics, just the facts around gender at work, including women, right? There is a gap in knowledge, and so one of the very first things that we do is educate people on those statistics. For example, management positions are held by more than 50 percent women but yet only 5 percent are CEOs and roughly 20-25 percent are at the senior leadership positions. At Show Me 50, we've developed a strategic program to train employees on the four solutions.

The first one is that, the CEOs of companies must come out and both verbally and visually talk about gender. The second one is all about transparency in talent management systems, and objective performance evaluation systems. So there are ingrained biases, unconscious as they may be, and they infiltrate talent management systems, and so companies need to do a better job of putting in checks and balances in order to correct those known biases.

The third one, which is very popular among today's younger workforce, is flexible working conditions. And so what we need as companies is to have flexible working that works for both men and women. Both men and women need to feel comfortable taking time off and being able to manage the very wide responsibilities that they have in their life.

And the fourth important point is training on gender bias. So it's sort of the glue that holds everything together. The entire work force needs to get educated and understand what does gender bias mean, how are their unconscious biases coming out in their daily work and how is it impacting the selection of managerial positions, how is it impacting the way they interact with their employees, and gender bias training is something that is a must do in corporations if they really want to address this issue.

I think it is our responsibility as members of our companies, as contributors in society to speak up when issues don't seem right. And so while you might think that this conversation around gender equality is reserved for people in power, or for people in HR, I think it is our individual responsibility to speak up and certainly if you have children, if you have daughters, if you think about the legacy that you are living behind, we have to be compelled to make a difference and to change.
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Elba Pareja-Gallagher

Elba Pareja-Gallagher is the founder of the social impact organization ShowMe50.org. The non-profit’s vision is to achieve 50% women in senior leadership positions through a grassroots movement. Using a one-of-a-kind collaborative ap...

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