UNLEASH 2019 – Leadership in the #MeToo Era

UNLEASH 2019 - Leadership in the #MeToo Era

ManpowerGroup was proud to sponsor UNLEASH in London on 19 and 20 March 2019. As Europe’s #1 HR event, it showcased smarter ways of working and latest business transformation insights to thousands of decision makers, visionaries, technology buyers, and disruptors.

During day one of UNLEASH, ManpowerGroup’s Chief Talent Scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic presented on the Influencers Stage, sharing insights from his latest book Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?. He shared practical recommendations on why focusing on talent – not gender – is the best way to develop a more diverse workforce.

One of the areas that Tomas discussed was gender parity. It isn’t just the moral thing to do, it makes good business sense, delivering diversity of thought and better decision making. But there are only 24 female CEOs in the Fortune 500; senior management-level men outnumber women two to one; and just 23% of the global C-Suite are women.

The problem is that organisations continue to use the same approaches to identify, hire and promote leaders. This means that they continue to produce the same results. Achieving parity for all starts with three key steps:

  1. Reduce Reliance on Gut Instinct
    Many employers continue to hire and promote people based on gut instinct. Most of today’s leaders are men, and research tells us that we ‘like’ people who are similar to ourselves. As a result, decisions that are based on gut instinct can inadvertently hinder progress to gender parity. Instead, we need the support of well-designed assessments to decrease bias and increase the quality of hire
  2. Look To The Future, Not The Past
    Someone’s past performance and experience currently plays an important role when deciding whether to hire or promote them. But the world is changing faster than ever before, so existing knowledge will have limited value in the years ahead. Past performance is no longer a guarantee of future success. Making recruitment decisions based on future potential can help organisations to yield better results in the short-term.
  3. Focus On Soft Skills
    People commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence. But overconfidence doesn’t mean that someone will make an effective leader. To build and maintain a high-performance team, leaders need to demonstrate that they care about others, can offer them the support they need, and can make their team feel valued. Respect, integrity and empathy are just a few of the soft skills that can make the difference in inspiring others.

Gender parity will not be achieved by magic. But women aren’t looking for favours, they just want a level playing field. Conscious Inclusion is about ensuring all people feel invited in and their human potential is valued. It’s not easy and there’s certainly no quick fix. Nonetheless, if organisations are serious about getting more women into leadership, they must go beyond programmes and change the culture. It’s time to put words into action.

To learn more, we invite you to download our whitepaper 7 Steps To Conscious Inclusion.