|Mentoring Program Attempts to Dissolve Barriers, Remedy Imbalance
In recognizing challenges still exist today for women to attain executive-level leadership roles in the public and private sectors, I'm convinced we can advance the conversation to close that gap.
Before thinking about practical steps to give women a stronger voice and encourage them to pursue leadership positions, it's important to reflect on why it matters.
There's obviously an equality argument. Women bring something different to the table, and vibrant organizations, whether public or private, need as diverse an executive team as possible.
I've spent the past 20 years focusing on developing mentoring processes and systems to help organizations groom the next generation of leaders. But during the past three years, I've recognized the need to be more focused on exposing more women to leadership roles within the federal government.
So, how can the government sector address this workplace imbalance?
More importantly, how do we attract and retain a new generation of female leaders who are willing to choose these careers, where they could be making important decisions impacting millions of Americans?
There are many talented women who are ready and qualified to pursue these executive positions, but who are making the conscious decision not to - and we don't know why.
While the situation is improving, there's a noticeable impasse among many women over balancing their career and home life. Others simply don't want to "play politics."
In February 2015, my company, The Training Connection, Inc., plans to launch a nine-month, government-wide, pilot-mentoring program that will include DISC and Workplace Motivators training.
In partnership with Executive Women in Government, we will select a pool of high-potential proteges and match them with women already in senior-level executive positions who will serve as mentors.
Our goal is to start the conversation about the importance of a woman's call to service to better shape the governmental structure, while also providing women new opportunities they may not have pursued otherwise.
In addition, this pilot program is designed to help break down barriers for women who may feel isolated once they enter senior-level executive positions within government that are primarily male-dominated.
Clearly, it takes certain types of people willing to put themselves out there to achieve success in positions of leadership.
But having a trusted advisor guide them along the way will help these women grow personally and professionally, while also helping them discern if there is a proper organizational fit in terms of their overall values system.
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