Results at the Top,
The most satisfying part of Results at the Top is watching your company's performance soar as gender bias disappears. BARBARA ANNIS is founding partner of Gender Intelligence Group (GIG). She is the author of Same Words, Different Language, Third Edition , and coauthor of several books, including Gender Intelligence and Work With Me . RICHARD NESBITT is president and CEO of Global Risk Institute. He is also adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto and chair of the advisory board to its Mind Brain Behaviour Hive.
Results at the Top,
YOUR WAKE-UP CALL
Let's put it on the table right at the onset. We believe-and what's more, we believe we can prove-that if you want your business to perform at its peak, you must hire and promote women alongside men into management and elect them to your board of directors.
How we can possibly be doing the best for our businesses if we hire and promote from only one-half of the population? This question has been out there forever, including back when women were not even considered full citizens. Asking this question has not led to the experience that most women and many men want, which is a full place for women alongside men in management and on boards. Other authors have tried to argue that women have superior skills (at least in certain areas) and this is the reason they should succeed in business. How is that argument working for change? Not so well.
We need to make a case that is provable based on evidence from an overwhelming number of experts in the field-a case that matters to those in positions of power. Who are they? Why-men, of course. This is the challenge that many who have tried to create change have been unable to resolve.
DIVERSITY AT THE TOP: CORRELATES WITH BETTER PERFORMANCE
For over twenty years, a growing body of research has demonstrated that companies that embrace diversity in general-and gender diversity at the highest company levels in particular-enjoy superior corporate performance. The evidence is globally relevant. It applies as much to China as to the United States and as much to Canada as to the United Kingdom or any other country.
Acting to achieve optimal corporate performance, or as some statutes require, "acting in the best interests of the corporation," requires boards and management to adjust the balance in their firm to achieve the right mix of men and women in leadership roles.
However, some believe progress by corporations in this area has stalled of late. Despite the acclaim given to a few high-profile female CEOs, progress in promoting women to senior management roles has slowed in mature economies. Writing recently in The New York Times , Philip N. Cohen noted that, "The movement toward equality stopped [in 1994] and it hasn't changed much since." 1
Men still dominate senior management and boards, with women representing a little more than a token presence. There is no question that women feel "left out" and frustrated, as is suggested by the title of a Harvard Business Review article, "Women in Management: Delusion of Progress." 2
However, if you consider that the aim is a fundamental change in the way men and women interact with each other at work, we can see progress continuing globally with distinct regional dynamics.
That's the bottom line of our book. And unlike other books written today on the topic of advancing women, this is not another "your journey to diversity" book. We're offering more than that. We know what works and we're going to show you how to do it. We're going to share breakthrough insights, pinpoint the specific areas where you need to focus your attention, and give you the tools to make things happen.
This book is unique in another way as well. There are few if any books on gender diversity targeted specifically to men and what men can and should do to support and champion the advancement of women. For decades, the burden for achieving parity in leadership, whether in business, education, or government, has been placed squarely, and wrongly, on the shoulders of women alone.
That's changing. We see a growing realization on the part of male leaders all over the globe that women in balanced leadership with men leads to a bigger bottom line. These leaders are personally getting involved and seeing that their managers at all levels are walking the talk as well.
Men in positions of power