This morning I was lucky enough to be a part of Lawrence Harvey's Women's Inclusive Network (W.I.N). This is the first step in Lawrence Harvey Group's wider diversity strategy. Research shows that a balanced diverse workforce creates a more innovative, creative and ultimately successful business and as a company we are doing what we can to ensure we always have an equal workforce.
The W.I.N connects the females in our business - we share experiences, ideas and support each other's development.
As part of the session Lawrence Harvey gave me, and the other members Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In.
Honestly, not knowing much about Sheryl other than that she is the COO of Facebook, I conducted some lunch time research during which I found this TED Talk from 2010. Many of the points that Sheryl raises are still incredibly valuable today. Sheryl shares her 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite:
- Sit at the table
- Make your partner a real partner
- Don't leave until you leave
One point that really resonated with me is when Sheryl says "Women systematically under estimate their own abilities". Now, I can only speak for myself and the women that surround me within Lawrence Harvey and I can safely say I think LH do not have women who think like that, however, having worked with a huge cross section of businesses and women over my career, I have to agree with her.
When will we, as a gender, start to view ourselves as equals and see the diverse value we bring?
I can only comment that I believe a large part (not 100%) of the gender pay gap and diversity debates are down to us, as women, allowing it to happen. As I sit today in 2016, I have every opportunity to rise to a C-suite position, with nothing stopping me other than myself if I don't grab my career with both hands.
What is stopping you?
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.