Senior Executives Doubt Value of Gender Diversity

“While 71 percent of top #executives believe #gender #diversity in the boardroom … always a good thing,  nearly a third (29 percent) of all senior executives doubt its value altogether“.

In the category of ” They Just Don’t Get It”….

its surprising and and disappointing to see that in the Western world, many fail to see why #gender diversity is a good thing, not just for #women but for organisations themselves and society at large.

Why would you want to reduce your talent pool by 50%?

By by not subscribing to gender diversity you are denying yourself access to half of the available workforce, not to mention the diversity of thinking and styles provided by people with a different mindset.

Words fail me.


Agricultural Science in Africa and Women

They are selected because they are—or could be—as good as agricultural scientists anywhere. They are groomed in leadership, and conduct research into problems facing their individual countries. They still face an enemy—the perception that #african women agricultural scientists can’t lead in innovation. Even as these experts continue to struggle for opportunities to advance their careers, they know that they are capable of bursting age-old stereotypes.”

Shaping opinions on the innovative capacities women can bring to #agriculture is enhanced and accelerated by public programs like this which support and demonstrate  female scientists capabilities.

  Africa displays needed leadership in this area. Kudos.
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New Zealand’s NZX and Gender Diversity

NZX Gender Diversity
“Women are under-represented in New Zealand’s biggest companies, with women representing only 12 per cent of NZX’s listed companies’ directors. The NZX’s first Gender Diversity Annual Statistics released last month revealed that among 109 companies, male directors totalled 88 per cent, and company officers were 81 per cent male and 19 per cent female”.

Self regulation is one method to redress gender imbalance across organisations. Enforcing quotas is another.

Self regulation is slow change and it is likely that talented women miss out on opportunities while waiting for traditional values and subtle sexism to adapt to a more modern world.

Conversely, quotas may mean that some women are given opportunities they’ve not yet earned nor are ready for in the quest to advance the position of women.

In a country with a small demographic like New Zealand, the need for change can seem more acute because of the size of the workforce.

The question still remains, if we seek relative representation on gender grounds then the size of the talent pool is not the issue: the selection methods and identifying inherent bias, is.

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Gender Equity Bill: South Africa

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (Bill) has been passed by the National Assembly and is now awaiting approval by the National Council of Provinces. The implications of the Bill, if passed, is that it will require employers’ decision making bodies to be comprised of a minimum of 50% female representation. While employers may want to pre-emptively ready themselves for this possible new #legislation, it may be in vain, even if the Bill is promulgated. If the Bill is enacted, not all of its provisions will apply to every employer.

In order to effect change, legislation is often necessary to impart a sense of necessity.

In this case, although it looks like #south africa‘s Gender Equity Bill will become law, it appears to be more of an education process than a compliance one. There are many ‘out’ clauses for employers making it something of a toothless tiger.

However it sets the tone for the direction organisations need to take and will shape societal expectations.

It will be interesting to watch over the next few years to see what impact this law has, if any. If Australian experience is any guide, this approach will yield slow results.

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Women in IT: The Male Exec View

…organisations cannot afford to leave promoting women to chance, he says. “Survival of the fittest doesn’t lead to diversity. Therefore, you need to support and develop female talent.”

The value of this piece is questionable – I am confident no #it executive would publicly state that they do not want women in management circles. I’d rather look at the companies stats on #gender diversity along with an observation of their practices.

In my experience across a diverse range of industries, most women in IT are generally accepted because of their competence and skills. The more they acted dispassionately the better.

IT values intellect, reasoning and technical knowledge – qualities which are not gender-specific.

Is there room for a feminine management style in IT? Absolutely.

By the way I love this comment from a male IT employee:

“the IT sector is generally ready to let women who display the required skills rise into senior positions”.

If one ever needed proof that there is a men’s club in management then this guy is trying hard to support it. Who “let” men in? And what of the male managers who fail to display the required skills? I definitely know a few of those in the IT space! But that’s ok because they’re blokes.


… breaking through the barriers that remain