Gender diversity in the workplace is not just a feel-good issue for women; it’s a financial imperative for companies. Studies show that gender diversity, especially in the top ranks, positively affects financial outcomes of an organization. McKinsey & Company, the global consultancy, and Lean In, a non-profit dedicated to women’s parity in the workplace, recently published their latest research report on gender diversity called Women in the Workplace 2018. The results of this year’s research show women are vastly underrepresented at every level of the organization and that their percentages have not increased over the past four years. Indeed, progress towards gender diversity has stalled.
Furthermore, this study states that women are doing their part to “lean in”: they are getting college degrees at higher rates than men, they ask for raises and promotions, and they stay in the workforce at the same rate as men.
The Queen of Hearts in Louis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland commanded “Off with her head!” at the slightest offense. Although this fictional story was written over 100 years ago, there are lessons from this story that can be applied to 21 st century work culture. Many inexperienced or uninformed leaders in today’s dynamic workplace may inadvertently “kill” the whole team when only one person makes a mistake.
I was reminded of this ill-advised practice by a colleague of mine, a millennial who is still early in his career. He told me that his boss sent out an email to the whole team with a correction, a directive that asked for different behavior. The boss said that he’d heard complaints and wanted them all to pay better attention to their customers.
Trouble is, this colleague of mine was already doing just that.
The boss acted the best he knew how – he sent out an email to all eleven of his team members. But the result of his action was an unintended consequence of his inability to address the one or two team members who were not paying proper attention to customers.
From the desk of