April 18th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Women at Work, Men at Home: The Increasingly Common Arrangement Raising Eyebrows

Family at homeBy Terry Selucky

“What does your husband do?”

This question may conjure the image of a group of lunching ladies, dressed in pastels, and discussing the office work of their breadwinning husbands. The assumption that the husband is the breadwinner is a common one, and it is steeped in deeply gendered stereotypes about men and women. Despite recent findings reporting that the number of male “house spouses” has doubled in the last 40-years, the stereotype persists.

Trish Walker, Senior Managing Director at Accenture, says she has fun answering the question “What does your husband do?”, which she says often comes up at cocktail parties.

Walker’s partner is a stay-at-home dad – and he is not and should not be – defined by his employment, the company he works for, or the salary he brings home.

“Our journey of having my husband stay at home while I worked has been fun, challenging, rewarding, and for the most part a great decision for our family,” Walker said. “The key is constant communication about what’s working, what’s not, how the kids are doing, and what we can adjust.”

According to the report Stay-at-Home Fathers: Definition and Characteristics Based on 34 Years of CPS Data, more men than ever before—about 550,000 in the past 10 years—are fulltime stay-at-home dads. The Pew Research Center reports that “compared with stay-at-home moms, these full-time fathers are older, less educated than their spouses, and their households have significantly lower incomes.”

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April 17th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Movers and Shakers: Triinu Magi, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Neura

triinu_magiBy Michelle Hendelman

Triinu Magi, Co-Founder and CTO of Neura, a company leading the trend on the Internet of Things, has always believed in paving her own path. Growing up in Estonia, Magi was instilled early on with the idea that everyone had the opportunity to create their own successful future. This mentality and entrepreneurial work ethic has shaped Magi throughout her professional development.

“This established the foundation that made me the leader I am today,” said Magi.

Drawn to Innovation
Magi entered the workforce at the young age of nineteen and she noted that in every role she held, innovation and technology were always two key focal points. Before she branched out on her own to create Neura, Magi spent over fifteen years working in various computer and network security related positions.

During the period when Estonia was establishing their independence from Russia, Magi played a key role in developing the Estonian e-government services and she was instrumental in creating an independent security analysis for Estonia’s e-voting system. Later in her career, Magi worked in research and innovation for Israel’s RSA Security.

“Without these experiences, I would not be able to hold the role I do at Neura. I consider each of these roles to have been stepping stones that have led me to where I am today,” said Magi. “I definitely feel like I was in the right place at the right time,” added Magi.

While Magi acknowledges the part that her previous roles have played in her success, she is proud of the fact that she had the courage to follow her passion and her heart by forming her own company. “I encourage every woman to follow their passions by doing what they love,” said Magi, “and this will involve a lot of hard work, but in the end it will be extremely rewarding.”

Magi has always gravitated toward innovation throughout her career, which is why it is no surprise that she started Neura one year ago. “We are excited about the work we are doing with the Internet of Things and exploring the interconnectivity of technology that will ultimately make our digital experiences more personalized and more human,” Magi explained.

She continued, “I believe that Neura will be the solution that enables the Internet of Things movement to provide trustful, intelligent and adaptive services to connected devices’ users. This is the future of technology, bringing intelligence to connected ecosystems, and we’re very excited to be a part of it.”

Women in Technology
“Do whatever it is you love to do,” advised Magi. According to Magi, women need to be careful not to create their own barriers by self-selecting out of opportunities. “By doubting our abilities and lacking confidence, we enable the negative stereotypes that surround women in technology,” said Magi.

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April 16th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Why Women Need A New Leadership Model

BeateCheletteGuest Contribution by Beate Chelette

Codes of conduct in the workplace have hardly kept up with the 21st century. Since feminism cracked the doors to equality, we have been operating on old rules, old programming, and outdated patriarchal systems.

We see women graduating from college and entering corporate America in record numbers, but to be recognized in the workplace, women still have to take on male traits. We need an updated leadership model that’s better than the century-old code that men created for themselves. We need our own Women’s Code.

Traditionally, men have lead on three basic principles: Power – Persuasion – Strategy. A man in business, at least the successful ones I know, constantly strategizes to identify who he needs to make his team the strongest. He uses persuasion to convince others that his way is the best and his team is the most qualified. He then maps out the road that will lead to his goal. Success, as the result of his decisions, gains him more power and higher status.

Although we can, and many of us did learn to take on the male traits of power, strategy, and persuasion, women who lead on these principles are often considered tough, manly, and a typical career woman. It is just not innate for a woman to act like a man, and those who do are often criticized and judged by their coworkers.

Granted, the traditional workplace was built on male principles because there is no other model to follow, and it worked well enough until now because the workforce has largely been male-dominated. Over the last few decades as more and more women squeeze into the workspace, we are pushing the boundaries on all sides. But, instead of pushing, we should be redefining the rules so that they accommodate what we bring to the table. Are men voluntarily going to bend and stretch the rules for us? No, we have to do it ourselves.

This is the realization that started The Women’s Code. I am a woman who loves to work with men and after I sold my company a few years ago, I realized I acted more like man than a woman. And frankly, that worried me. That is how my shift began.

Once I began the research for my book, Happy Woman Happy World, I realized that women need to define leadership attributes that are natural for us. With a better baseline there will be no more bullies, no more sabotage, no more brutal competition. We’ll collaborate instead; we’ll do it together.

The female leadership principles I identified are: Compassion – Uniqueness – Empowerment. Women should lead on C.U.E. We like community and inclusion, we have compassion for others, and we appreciate the unique qualities that each individual brings and expect the same in return. When we draw on the skills of each team member, we empower one another and strengthen the overall outcome. Success, as the result of our decisions and combined abilities, gains us all more power and higher status.

The Women’s Code allows us to be successful while still being true to ourselves. We need to embrace the ways women innately lead, work, and communicate. The key is to learn how to collaborate with each other, how to support each other, and how to use our individual strengths to build each other up instead of targeting the weaknesses we find.

There are enough of us in the corporate world right now to start the chain reaction that will ultimately lead to true workplace equality. Let’s do this together.

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Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, successful entrepreneur, author of Happy Women Happy World, and founder of The Women’s Code. At her lowest point, Beate was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her company to Bill Gates for millions of dollars. Beate cracked the code and came out on top. In The Women’s Code, she openly shares her secrets to personal and career success and happiness. Beate envisions a community of women helping and supporting each other. The Women’s Code serves as a guide to personal and career success and offers a new code of conduct at home, at work, and at play.

To purchase her book, Happy Woman Happy World, visit Beate online.

Guest advice and opinions are not necessarily those of theglasshammer.com

April 15th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Leaving Corporate for a Nonprofit: How to Adapt Your Leadership Style

iStock_000005966600XSmallBy Jennifer Keck

According to the 2013 Nonprofit HR Solutions employment trends survey, 40 percent of nonprofits indicated an increase in staff size in 2013, and 44 percent had plans to create positions in the upcoming year. This percentage follows an increasing trend, up from 33 percent in 2011 and 43 percent in 2012. As the nonprofit world continues to expand, many women have made the transition, using their for-profit experience to succeed in their new roles.

Like most organizations, a nonprofit’s ability to deliver results depends more on the quality of leadership than any other factor, a Bridgespan study on the nonprofit leadership deficit reports. Yet a growing number of organizations, the retirement of managers from the baby boomer generation, and a lack of intermediaries to help with recruiting and developing managers has led to a leadership gap. It is within this gap that executive women are increasingly finding their niche.

What drives top female talent to leave behind a profit-driven business for the challenge of managing a nonprofit, sometimes but not always, for less pay?

According to Mary Lee Montague, Executive Vice President of DHR International, a top five global retained executive search firm, “The [nonprofit] sector offers all people the opportunity to be a servant leader within a mission driven organization while benefiting both personally and professionally to make the world a better place.”

Montague has already placed numerous female CEOs in nonprofit leadership roles including: Shannon Block of the Denver Zoo, Merri Ex of Family Focus (Chicago), Heather Alderman of the IL Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Robin McGinnis of the Infant Welfare Society (Chicago), and Barbara Mosacchio of Chicago Youth Centers.

While there are many success stories, Montague stressed that executives who make the transition to the nonprofit sector understand that an effective nonprofit leadership style differs from traditional leadership. “It’s about ‘servant leadership’,” she noted.

Servant leadership emphasizes the importance of soft skills such as listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, commitment to the growth of people, community building, and stewardship. Montague explained, “Servant leaders don’t have to have all of these characteristics, but they all help to create the right atmosphere – the right culture – within an organization.”

The Challenges of Nonprofit Leadership
Nonprofit organizations require leaders who can motivate both staff and volunteers to work toward a central mission – often despite financial and human resource restraints. Additionally, a Bridgespan Group article on transferable skills highlights the importance of adapting to a different leadership style. The top down, more authoritarian-style of management tends to be ineffective in a nonprofit setting. Executives who have a proven ability to persuade others and a collaborative style are best suited to this industry.

Experience working with employees across various levels of an organization, from the sales floor to the executive suite, also lends itself to a smoother transition into the nonprofit world. Knowing how to get people to do things when you don’t have authority over them is especially important when you are working with volunteers.

However, it takes more than good management to lead a nonprofit. These organizations rely on local governments, community centers, public schools, and even neighborhood residents for grassroots organizing and funding. Collaboration with key stakeholders is a vital part of any nonprofit organization’s efforts to affect social change, and don’t forget about the board.

“Some of the biggest challenges are making sure the board is happy, raising the money necessary to carry out goals, and working with mission driven stakeholders,” Montague said.

Executives must know how to align all their constituents around a common initiative in order to obtain the funding and resources needed to achieve a nonprofit’s goals. The ability to manage a wide range of activities such as finance, human resources, and communications is critical.

Work experience in a resource-strained environment is also a key factor in making the transition into nonprofit. Anyone who has started her own business or has had a leadership role in a startup will be well prepared to face the challenge of maximizing resources, and doing more with less.

Transitioning from For-Profit to Nonprofit
If you haven’t honed all the skills listed above, don’t worry. This is simply a guideline to help you determine if a career in nonprofit leadership is right for you. Before you make the jump, Montague suggests you take a few things into consideration.

“It’s important to know you need to embrace the following: the care and feeding of the board of directors, the ability to do ‘an ask’, believe in the mission of the organization, understand the passion of the volunteer stakeholder, and the joy of being a servant leader…the ability to drive from the back of the bus,” she said.

April 14th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Voice of Experience: Heather Kafele, Partner, Shearman & Sterling

heather_kafele_shearmanBy Michelle Hendelman

Looking back on her career, Heather Kafele, a Washington, DC-based litigation partner at global law firm Shearman & Sterling, remembers that she was not exactly sure which career path she wanted to take. She was certain about one thing, though: “I was very passionate about the world’s injustices.”

Before going to law school, Kafele had the opportunity to reside in Kenya on a grant to study international development. There, she was able to do some soul searching and considered many different options, including earning a Ph.D. in philosophy and staying in academia or taking an alternative route to practice law. After taking both the GRE and the LSAT admissions exams, Kafele decided to pursue a legal career.

“I loved law school,” said Kafele, “and I continued to follow a non-traditional path.” Instead of spending her summers at big law firms, Kafele worked at the public defender’s office and was convinced this is where she would start her career after graduating from law school. However, faced with a pile of debt after graduation, Kafele made the prudent decision to join a big firm before pursuing her passion of becoming a public defender.

Life had something else in store for Kafele, however. She discovered that the type of work she did at Shearman & Sterling was extremely rewarding as it involved cutting-edge and thorny legal issues, diverse clients and industries, and an opportunity to travel and see the world.

“I never expected to stay at a big firm, but I found myself passionate about the work,” Kafele said. “Being a trial lawyer means working with witnesses, documents and facts to weave together a compelling story and draw judges and jurors into that story. This process is both challenging and thrilling.”

“Women have a unique ability to connect with other people – including judges, jurors and witnesses – which are a true asset for women litigators,” she added.

One of the most significant and memorable experiences in Kafele’s career came when she had the opportunity to participate in a three-week jury trial on a big antitrust case. “These cases rarely go to trial so this experience was very unique and exciting,” Kafele noted. Recently, Kafele represented Ardagh Group in a high-profile litigation brought by the Federal Trade Commission challenging Ardagh’s acquisition of Saint Gobain’s US glass container business. And just this week, Kafele scored a significant victory on behalf of several major banks upholding New York’s “separate entity rule” and extending it (for the first time) to document subpoenas.

Special Interest in Cartel Law and Pro Bono Work
Kafele has extensive experience in international cartel enforcement matters, handling complex multi-jurisdictional cartel and grand jury investigations, as well as class action litigations. According to her, many more jurisdictions other than the US and EU are developing cartel laws or enforcing existing cartel laws, making it an international norm and changing the way companies do business. She explained, “The dynamic of cartel law has really changed, which makes it a very exciting area to work in. Since Shearman & Sterling is a global firm, I advise companies all over the world and help them investigate issues, understand the US process and coordinate with counsel in other jurisdictions.”

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April 11th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Young, female AND successful: What Stops Us from Becoming CEO?

Confident young business woman in black suit against whiteBy Nneka Orji

Age discrimination against older women has been widely discussed in the media. The assumption is that ageism applies mostly to older women however this is not necessarily the case. A 2011 report from the UK’s Department for Work and Pension (DWP) highlighted that those who experienced age discrimination were more likely to be in younger age brackets, “with under-25s at least twice as likely to have experienced it, than other age groups.” This has significant implications on our future female leaders – “Generation Y,” also known as “millennials.”

According to the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, 40 percent of Generation Y women reported experiencing generational discrimination. The report stated, “Being female tended to intensify age prejudice and ‘double jeopardy’ was reinforcing rather than simply additive.” The report also found that both forms of discrimination –age and gender – led to female millennials being held to different standards, passed over for promotions, and most disturbingly, being perceived as less competent.

What is the impact on the future workforce if some of its future leaders are faced with at least two layers of barriers in the early stages of their careers? Moreover, if female millennials are part of the pipeline of future female leaders, what initiatives are focused on ensuring that ten years from now we still are not looking at such a heavy tilt towards male leaders as the norm?

After all, we have seen that investing in women in senior manager roles is clearly beneficial; Catalyst found a 26 percent difference in return on invested capital (ROIC) between the top-quartile companies (those with 19-44 percent female board representation) and bottom quartile companies (those with zero female directors). With this in mind, organisations have introduced a number of initiatives to increase gender diversity, targeted especially at their senior management teams.

The good news is that female millennials are starting on a more equal footing with their male counterparts. The Pew Research Center published its 2013 survey results which reflected the narrowing of the gender wage gap. Although millennials are more confident in their abilities compared to previous female cohorts –and only 15 percent of those surveyed had experienced gender discrimination – they were still less likely to aspire to top management positions in their organisations. Compared to 24 percent of Generation Y men who showed no interest in top management roles, 34 percent of the female millennials surveyed shared the same sentiment. If over one-third of the world’s potential female leaders have no desire to be a leader within the organisation, surely something needs to change.

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April 10th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Catalyst Awards Conference 2014: Leaders Make the Difference in Diversity

Image via Catalyst

Image via Catalyst

By Melissa J. Anderson (New York City)

Last week marked the 2014 Catalyst Awards Conference, a celebration of successful diversity and inclusion programs. The two winning companies – Kimberly-Clark and Lockheed Martin – managed to substantially increase the percentages of women in leadership through innovative programming, target setting, and incentivizing management to promote and retain women through enterprise-wide goals.

Leaders from both companies were on hand to describe what worked. According to the speakers, the breakthrough was building the business case for diversity into the culture of the company, with programs strongly supported by active and vocal leadership.

“We’ve been doing diversity and inclusion for 30 years,” said Thomas J. Falk, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kimberly-Clark, explaining that the company had done diversity initiatives when the time and resources were available.

But recently, the company began incorporating diversity goals into its business strategy. “That was a tipping point for us, making it about what we do every day,” Falk said.

Sue Dodsworth, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Executive Development at Kimberly-Clark explained that the goal of the program was to make sure employees and executives throughout the global organization looked more like the people who use its products – mainly women.

“It truly is a competitive strategy,” she said.

Likewise, Lockheed Martin’s program is also designed to capitalize on the strategic benefits of diversity.

“We realized several years ago… this is definitely a business imperative for us,” said Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Lockheed Martin, pointing out that only nine percent of aerospace engineers are women. “We needed all the best talent at our table.”

“The more diverse perspectives we have on the issue the better our product is going to get,” she said. The company may have great facilities and laboratories, she said, “but nothing gets done without top talent. That’s what connected with the leaders.”

Shan Cooper, Vice President and General Manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, added, “We were very intentional in making diversity work part of our everyday work.”

Mentoring and Sponsorship
Speakers from the winning companies also touched on the importance of mentoring and sponsorship. Cooper explained how Hewson was critical in helping her get her job. “We have a formal mentoring program with a mandate that 50% of participants are women and minorities,” she said.

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April 9th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Salary History: Gender Pay Gap’s Holy Grail

paycheckfairnessGuest contribution by Katie Donovan

The saying “culture eats strategy over breakfast”, attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, has a place in the women’s pay gap issue. It seems as though much of the talk around eliminating the gender pay gap is aimed at changing culture. Examples from the recent Boston Closing the Wage Gap include recommendations of getting young girls to major in STEM and helping recruiters and hiring managers overcome biases. The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink looks at women’s financial status encompasses but is not limited to the gender pay gap. This report does include similar types of recommendations such as putting college education ahead of having children to help the overall financial strength of women. These recommendations are admirable but slow. It’s been 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed and The Institute for Women’s Policy Research projects the pay gap will close in 2058 at the rate we have been making progress.

Instead of changing culture, is it possible to find solutions that will work regardless of the culture? To me, this is the Holy Grail. The existence of such a Holy Grail would reduce the 44 more years of inequality greatly. I propose there are. The primary Holy Grail is the use of salary history as a grading system and as a benchmark.

Headhunters have admitted in private to me that they never submit a candidate if their current pay is too low compared to the pay of the job they are filling. Let’s put this in perspective. I know of a woman who works in STEM with a doctorate and 10+ year of experience. A few years back she discovered she was making $30,000 less than her male colleague with the same title and less experience. This difference was inline with the industry gender wage gap. Assume, both this women and her male colleague apply to a job. Headhunters using pay as one of the grading criteria would never judge the person with $30,000 less on par with the higher paid colleague. The highly educated, experienced women in a well paid STEM job would never get out of the pile of resumes and get the chance to interview for her next job in STEM.

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April 8th, 2014 | 6:00 am

When Hiring a New Team Member, Do You Hire People Like Yourself?

Business meeting.By Irene Solaz

It is well established that diverse teams avoid the dreaded “groupthink”, the practice of minimizing conflict and reaching a consensus decision without thinking critically about alternative ideas or viewpoints. According to Irving Janis, the social psychologist who coined the term, groups are most vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.

In your team there are probably 20-year old interns eager to learn and coworkers with different life experiences and varying perspectives stemming from different backgrounds, cultures, and even religious beliefs. You will probably hear all of their suggestions, but are you really listening? Will you write them all down, or give precedence to opinions expressed by those who share a similar background with you? This has historically been an issue for women, who have found that when they speak up in a meeting, it is often ignored until a male coworker voices the same idea.

Last year, Harvard Business Review interviewed 24 CEOs from around the globe who ran companies and corporate divisions that had earned reputations for embracing people from all kinds of backgrounds. Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work featured Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley, who delves into the uncomfortable realization that he was allowing these groupthink dynamics to take place at EY when a woman at the company pointed it out to him. He immediately corrected his behavior.

It’s not just men who can be guilty of allowing these conditions to take place. Even members of marginalized groups can silence the voices of those who are not like them. As a matter of fact, for 30-years there has been research conducted around the “think manager, think male” phenomenon. Women have been proven to be just as prone to assigning leadership traits to men and not other women like themselves.

Reducing Your Bias When Hiring
Hiring someone with whom we share similar backgrounds, beliefs, or values is usually done unconsciously, and it is important to stop hiring workers simply because they are similar to us.

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April 7th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Voice of Experience: Edith Cooper, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs

cooper_edith_gsBy Michelle Hendelman

For the last six years, Edith Cooper has been the Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs. In other words, she is responsible for the well-being, development and promotion of Goldman’s 32,000 employees worldwide. While this is no small task, Cooper loves the people-centric aspect of her role. “Our people are our number one asset,” said Cooper.

She continued, “This is a dynamic business and our priorities evolve alongside the markets. As a result, there is an increased focus on managing people, leading people, and leveraging the diverse set of experiences that our people bring to the table.”

The Dynamic Space of Human Capital Management
Cooper’s role at Goldman Sachs has also evolved over the last 17 years as she has transitioned from sales and trading into managing clients and people. According to Cooper, the last five years have been especially challenging, however, new opportunities to serve clients continue to emerge. She noted, “as markets and organizations continue to expand and globalize, we now more than ever must pay attention to and respond to global trends.”

“Clients need us to have 24/7 awareness of market drivers and opportunities in order to facilitate growth, and part of my role is to ensure that our people are well positioned to add that value to our clients,” Cooper added. She explained how important it is to attract people to the organization who are not only individually excellent, but also embrace the fact that delivering client satisfaction is very much a collaborative effort.

According to Cooper, technology is changing the human capital management space in a number of ways including by enhancing and expanding recruiting efforts. “The connectivity is constant,” noted Cooper, “and our reach is global due to online tools and advancing technologies.” This is elevated by the fact that the Millennials who are beginning to fill the halls at Goldman Sachs have been raised around technology, and incorporate it into everything that they do.

“The challenge used to be in gathering information, but now that so much more information is easily accessible, the opportunity to add value is by connecting information and leveraging it strategically,” said Cooper.

Expanding the Dialogue of Women’s Career Advancement
Cooper acknowledged that there has been significant progress for women in the workplace, but that there is more work to be done. “In order to be successful, an organization must ensure that there is diversity at every level,” she explained. According to Cooper, the ongoing conversations around professional women encourage people to broaden their perspective and expand the dialogue.

For Cooper, a great source of pride comes from the fact that she has had the opportunity to grow her career at Goldman Sachs while also maintaining a great home life. She attributes this to the fact that her support system –both at work and at home –has been strong and steady. While this has worked for her, she encourages women to determine their own degree of work-life balance by recognizing that there are multiple paths to take and choices to make throughout the length of your career.

“Women who believe that they can go out and be excellent at every single thing on a daily basis are likely setting themselves up to fail. You must pick your spots and create your own definition of success,” added Cooper.

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