The statistics are, frankly, exasperating. Gender equality remains a mirage. For instance, the proportion of female CEOs at major companies in America struggles to break 10%. On Fortune 500 boards, only about 20% of the seats are held by women. The problems with achieving gender fairness go on and on. Fortunately, my guest Colleen Ammerman covers solid ways of addressing the injustices still present. Those steps include not tolerating bad behavior from “rainmakers”—even to the point of disallowing severance pay or other benefits if that person gets terminated due to sexual misconduct. Declining invitations to events that don’t prioritize gender diversity among its speakers is another avenue of applying pressure for change. For anybody who wants to witness both structural and cultural changes within companies, this episode is well worth a listen.
How is it that $8 billion a year gets thrown at diversity training and yet next-to-nothing changes? One person who isn’t giving up is Sue Unerman, who along with her co-authors Kathryn Jacob and Mark Edwards favors a full array of changes that can improve the degree to which women get represented in the ranks of senior management at companies. The scope of this episode is broad: from how meetings are run, to how teams are built, and of course who gets promoted and receives how much in compensation. A particular focus is detrimental “banter” that’s hardly as light-hearted as it’s claimed to be. Add to that the Glass Slipper problem of people trying to fit into a corporate culture that should, instead, be blown wide-open and allow everyone to thrive, and all-in-all you get a sense of just how committed Unerman is when it comes to the interlocking topics of gender, fairness, and reform.