The myth of the glass ceiling
The myth of "glass ceiling", in German the glass ceiling, is considered one of the main causes of the failure of female leaders. On closer inspection, however, it seems less to be a glass ceiling than a leaky talent pipeline, causing a steady decline in the proportion of women from the initial entry level to top management:
Men have twice as good chances of reaching senior management as women. With a promotion from the Leadership Circle to the CEO, the chances of men are five times higher, according to McKinsey 2013 in his study Woman Matter.
Behavior changes only work intrinsically
What to do? An externally superimposed framework such as the women's rate can only have a positive and lasting effect on the basis of an intrinsic system change.
In order to overcome traditional role models, in addition to recognizing unconscious behavioral dynamics, it is necessary to recognize that women are leaders Success Factors bring to the table that would probably not exist without them.
Female leadership characteristics on the rise
Corporate success is reinforced by nine leadership characteristics, according to Bass and Stogdill: participatory decision-making, role-model, inspiration, goal-oriented with bonus system, employee development, intellectual inspiration, effective communication, individualistic, top-down decision making, control and corrective behavior.
Five of the nine characteristics are observed more often in women than in men: participatory decision making, role model, inspiration, goal orientation with bonuses, employee development. Men, on the other hand, often show behavior such as individualistic, top-down decision-making, control and corrective behavior. No distinction between men and women was found in the characteristics of Intellectual Inspiration and Effective Communication. One thing is certain: we are strong together.
Mixed Leadership is not a gender marquee
Mixed Leadership is not a gender marquee but an entrepreneurial necessity. Against the background of lasting market-economy challenges, a diversification of the management style is the basic prerequisite for sustainable success.
And so we have arrived at the still unanswered question about the "how". How can we make such a social change at all?
The principles of successful implementation
Two principles are essential in the successful implementation of a mixed leadership approach:
- The consistent and success-oriented implementation of a management commitment.
- A climate of positive co-existence, ie, a colloquative working culture.
A fundamental cultural change
The introduction of mixed leadership principles in companies is, in many cases, equivalent to a fundamental cultural change which, due to its systemic nature, is only introduced top-down and successfully with the necessary time.
It is both evolution and revolution. Cross-gender mentor programs, the introduction of sponsors and the active involvement of skeptics as mixed leadership ambassadors, for example, can promote such a cultural change.
The step towards a future-oriented company
Collaborative work is typically characterized by effective communication, goal-oriented, mutual respect and accountability. Only in a corporate culture, where management and employees focus on their product and face each other with mutual respect, prejudices - especially assumptions based on traditional role images - can be overcome. Only an atmosphere of togetherness creates lasting success.
If companies manage to implement this "how", then they have a realistic chance to be sustainable.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960022
English version: ISBN 9783965960039 (Translation notice)
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