Today, although American women comprise almost half the workforce, they hold less than five percent of CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies. In the U.S., full-time, year-round female workers face a 20 percent gender pay gap, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research. This gap is wider for black and Hispanic women.
A panel discussion at the recent S.H.E. Summit in Dallas in mid-August tackled questions about gender roles and biases in the workplace. It also offered recommendations for both men and women to better advance their own careers while also helping others.
The session was titled “Gaining Influential Male Leaders as Change Agents”; the three panelists were: Cara Wade, PhD, vice president and executive consultant with Leadership Worth Following (LWF), a Dallas-based leadership consulting firm; Pete Carr, regional president, North America, with the Bacardi spirits company in Coral Gables, Florida; and Bill Munck, managing partner with Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP, a technology law firm in Dallas, Texas.
Wade, who advises, coaches and trains company leaders across a variety of industries, shared her perspective on workplace trends and challenges LWF is seeing – for both women and men. Carr and Munck discussed their two firms’ diversity initiatives for women and motivation for implementation.
Other topics discussed included: career advice for women who need buy-in from male leaders to rise in their careers; recommendations for cultivating support – from both male and female leaders; unconscious biases people can have based on gender, age, color, etc.; raising self-awareness; and critical values or skills essential for rising as inclusive leaders.
This discussion attracted more than 150 attendees and was moderated by Claudia Chan Wagner, the founder and CEO of S.H.E. Globl Media Inc., the S.H.E. Summit organizer. This empowerment event focused on leadership and lifestyle, aimed at cultivating women and men leaders. A key summit goal is helping everyone become more “connected, educated, and activated” in their own careers.
From Wade’s own business and consulting experience, she believes that women actually play a larger role than men do in holding other women back from advancing to top leadership roles. In her closing comments, Wade also echoed an aspirational S.H.E. Summit slogan (“Rise to your potential. Lift other women.”) by emphasizing the importance of not just looking for your own leadership advocates, but advocating for others behind you in the organization.
To learn more about leadership development programs, LWF’s Worthy Leadership model, or other ways LWF can positively impact your organization, please contact Cara Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-260-8001.