BIG Deal and SHINE Program
Problem: main concern was to attract and retain engineers and be an employer of choice, in particular for female engineers and Millennials. Lack of female role models in top level position. Lack of awareness and buy-in among the entire population of the strategic importance of gender balance for the company and the impact of stereotyping and bias.
Industry and scope: Industrials Heavy Equipment, Benelux
Strategy: rebalancing the number of female engineers in leadership positions by working on both the culture and the structure. Support and empower female engineers to pro-actively manage their career in a typically male dominated industry. Work with men and women across the company to assess corporate culture and identify ways forward for a balanced culture that is more inclusive and in which diversity of thought an thrive.
Result: female engineers who followed the program keep on progressing in their career, have considerably increased their visibility, confidence and networking skills. They actively support other talented females and are inspiring and balanced role models to the younger generation. Increased awareness and acceptance of the importance of a balanced culture, identification of the cultural barriers to more diversity within the company.
Problem: CEO wants to significantly increase the speed of change for gender balance at general manager level. The female talent pipeline seems blocked, there is a need to develop talent from within. Leadership assumes that a lack of confidence is holding women back. Lack of knowledge and action on the importance of corporate culture to make a significant gender balance shift.
Industry and scope: International Consumer Services, Hospitality, Hotels and Restaurants, EMEA
Strategy: set up and EMEA roll-out of an internal high level empowerment and female advancement program tailor-made to the needs and expectations of the client. Inform and create buy-in for the program with the Women in Leadership Forum and with the participant’s line managers. Support on internal and external communication about the program. Program stretches over 4 months and involves group work and individual coaching.
Result: First results of the career progress of these females who are being closely followed up by HR show a 75% speed up advancement of female talent through the ranks. They are rapidly extending their business development taking up other positions in different operational departments in order to be better prepared for GM positions and some have already taken up GM positions.
Problem: increase awareness of senior management in Europe on diversity and a balanced corporate culture. CEO wants to bring knowledge of European management to level of U.S. HQ.
Industry: Consumer, Food & Beverage, Distillers, Europe
Strategy: BIG Deal program with focus on awareness of strategic importance to the company assessing corporate culture, developing a balanced leadership style to create a culture of inclusion, and behaving as an inclusive leader by being a role model leading by example.
Result: clear understanding of strategic importance of D&I for the future of the company and commitment of the team to next steps in creating a balanced corporate culture.
Problem: willingness to exceed industry levels of gender balance and to meet international targets, achieve target of 30% women in management and achieve a dynamic female talent pipeline.
Industry and scope: Information Technology, Software and Services, Belgium
Strategy: in-company roll-out of the SHINE Program for women in a management or expert position. Customization of the program to focus on topics such as internal and external networking, office politics, life balance and balanced leadership. The program was not mandatory, and groups typically were fully booked one hour after announcement.
Result: overall high levels of confidence, business networking and a better life balance resulted in higher levels of motivation to stay and to develop within the company. The company now has 30% women in a market with an average of 22%.
BIG Deal and SHINE Program
Problem: empower female talents, create more female role models in senior positions in a turbulent corporate episode with restructuring and downsizing.
Industry and scope: Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Belux
Strategy: rget talented women from several plants and divisions to take part in the SHINE in-company program. Work with Belux leaders on Balanced Leadership and creating a balanced culture.
Result: better gender balance with women exceeding 50% in all departments and at all levels, with exception of production units. Women report better life balance, increased self-confidence and stronger networks. Better understanding about managing up and managing down, being aware and competent to use a balanced leadership style.
Inclusion for Millennials
Problem: increase gender diversity at senior and executive level without having to hire externally. Increase awareness, buy-in and true involvement from executive level.
Industry and scope: Financial Services, Insurance, Belgium
Strategy: roll out and adapt the global sponsoring strategy to local culture and challenges. Female top talents from different departments were asked to participate after consultation with HR and Executive Committee. Sponsoring program of 1 year included coaching of female talent on specific qualities and balanced leadership, making them more visible throughout the organization and towards top management, taking down barriers, demystifying executive level, building internal and external networks. Separate program for sponsors of executive level to increase gender intelligence and boost buy-in/advocacy of gender balance.
Result: Although the company was restructuring and downsizing, 50% of the female participants made a career move. Participants reported progress in self-confidence, pro-actively managing their career, creating more visibility for themselves, making a strong personal impact, building a professional network, managing a good work-life balance and understanding the unwritten rules of the company.
Problem: huge talent pool of women but lack of women in the active pipeline (women are not applying for senior positions) due to masculine leadership styles.
Industry and scope: Financial Services, Insurance, Belgium
Strategy: in-company deployment of SHINE program (aimed at unblocking the female talent pipeline). Target group: 120 talented and promising female talents and 30% of actual female managers. The company’s new leadership profile promoted a balanced leadership style, however this was not yet fully implemented. The new profile was embedded in the SHINE program to show the talented women in the company that all leaders (male and female) were expected to apply a good balance between masculine and feminine qualities. Participating to the program also offered women a ready-to-use internal support network with various role models.
Result: women in the program felt more motivated to step into leadership positions and more empowered and self-assured. They reported that having access to personal development, unfiltered feedback and coaching on their development points meant they no longer felt excluded from the next step in their career, and started to lean in. As a result of the program the myth that a manager cannot have life balance was demystified. The post survey displayed spectacular growth in self-confidence, business networking and managing a good work-life balance and 50% more women applied for leadership positions.
Inclusion and Diversity Scan
Problem: understand which barriers women face in advancing to top level positions globally, understand influence of corporate and HQ European culture in developing a balanced leadership framework.
Industry and scope: FMCG, Food & Beverage, Global
Strategy: gender balance and Balanced Leadership Scan to assess inclusion and openness to diversity in corporate culture in HQ and key markets. Qualitative research in-depth expert interviews with leaders and talent across gender, nationality, functions and regions.
Result: clear view on cultural and regional differences and disbalance in culture in masculine and feminine qualities leading to invisible barriers for minorities in the talent pool. Identification of obstacles to achieving better gender and culture balance. Recommendations for strategy and action plan embedded in overall business and HR strategy.