Greta Thomas And Claire Hatton, the co-founders of Don’t Stop Us Now!, talk about what needs to be achieved to help pave the way for more female leaders.
How do we smash barriers and pave the way for more female leaders in the future?”
The lack of women in senior leadership around the world today is the result of hundreds, if not thousands, of years of social norms and stereotypes being created that defined what women ‘were expected to do’.
Of course this means that there’s no single or easy fix.
There is good news however, things have been changing, albeit slowly. Australia actually leads the world (just!) when it comes to the percentage of women in senior executive roles (21%) and also on our corporate boards (27.7% for ASX 200).
We believe that until the time when we all get used to women being just as likely to be the ‘boss’ as a man, we’ll continue to have to push for greater equality. That’s why having female role models and shining a spotlight on today’s female leaders and innovators is so important. It helps us chip away at those stereotypes of what women can be and what we can do.
Did you know that in the general news media for example, women are only used as expert sources around 21% of the time? That’s crazy to us as there are so many expert women on all manner of subjects out there.
We’ve just launched a podcast called Don’t Stop Us Now! to help position women as the natural leaders, innovators and pioneers they already are. We believe that not enough women are getting acknowledgement for the amazing things they have achieved.
With downloads of the podcast from more than 40 countries to date, we believe this is a signal of just what an appetite there is for all of us to hear from more women about their inspiring journeys and their world-class expertise. (Listen up mainstream media!)
So don’t ever let a news editor or conference organiser tell you they can’t find a suitable female expert to be quoted or speak! There’s one simple answer we have to that: Try harder!
How the system needs to change
If role models can help effectively change stereotypes what else can be done to smash barriers and reach a more equal playing field you may ask?
Well we could write a book on that and plenty of people have! There is one thing though that we believe is critical for organisations to address and that is the need to focus on creating flexible working arrangements. We don’t see enough companies really trying hard on this one and yet there’s really little excuse.
We know from our own boardroom experience that there’s barely a company out there that isn’t talking about the need for transformation and the need to digitise and prepare for the changes that lie ahead.
We urge all people to ensure that Boards, CEOs and Exco’s get the message that: if your transformation doesn’t include options for 50% of the population to contribute equally, then you will be left behind and your ‘transformation’ will not create the value it could.
Here’s to celebrating female role models and creating the pathways for many more to thrive.
About Claire Hatton
Claire Hatton, CEO and Co-Founder, Full Potential Labs, Non-Executive Director and former “UK Person of the Year”, is on a mission to help leaders and their teams think better and innovate more. With more than 25 years global business experience, most recently on Google Australia’s country leadership team, Claire knows what it takes to lead a business in the new world of digital.
Claire sits on the Board of ASX listed 3P Learning, a global EdTech company delivering innovative maths and literacy online learning solutions to 5.5m children from kindergarten to year 12. A professionally accredited coach with a passion for neuroscience, she coaches, advises and builds leadership capability for some of the world’s most innovative companies.
Claire also co-hosts the podcast “Don’t Stop Us Now!” featuring authentic stories and practical advice from awesome, innovative women. She’s an avid traveller with a passion for scuba and photography.
About Greta Thomas
Greta Thomas is an innovation and women’s leadership expert. She is a Board Advisor and Non-Executive Director as well as Co-Founder of next-gen leadership development company, Full Potential Labs. She has also helped launch and build numerous different ventures including several in the fintech space.
Greta is an expert contributor to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organisation in Silicon Valley. Her executive career spanned a variety of roles from award-winning McKinsey management consultant to launching eBay in Australia as CMO; from being part of the leadership team at Sydney Opera House to helping establish Bono’s international high-profile business-for-purpose, (PRODUCT) RED in the US and Europe.
She was named one of 50 Women to Watch by Advance and has served on the boards of an ASX listed financial services business, a major retail business and now advises the board of Credit Union Australia.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Don’t Stop Now! Founders Greta Thomas And Claire Hatton for this article On Paving The Way For More Female Leaders