In the News for Executive Women

Gender Divide @ Work

To bridge the gender divide at work requires a change in thinking about the glass ceiling.

"At Deloitte & Touche USA, the Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women, known as WIN, has been lauded for its success in promoting women to the most senior ranks: 19.3% of partners are women, the highest percentage among the Big Four public accounting firms. That's up from 7% since WIN was started in 1993.

"Two years ago, Deloitte came up with a new program, Women as Buyers, to specifically help men with what mattered to them (winning more clients) while improving understanding between men and women at the firm.

"The four-hour sessions remind men of simple differences such as client entertaining (women prefer breakfast to dinner, since they often have more evening responsibilities at home) and communication styles (just because a woman is nodding doesn't mean she agrees with you). While male executives may prefer consultants or accountants to sit by their side, women are more visual than men and partners should face women executives in client meetings.

"And because women tend to see leadership roles as positions of responsibility rather than power, partners should think carefully about whom they parachute in to help sell services. "If it's a guy, you might want to bring your big mucky-muck in," says Paul Silverglate, an audit partner who went through the training. "Women partners are more focused on who's going to do the work with their team day-to-day. That was very interesting to me."

" 'If you really want to make a difference for women," says Silverglate, "it has to make sense for all partners.' "

Source: BusinessWeek, June 18, 2007

Barb McEwen of 20/20 Executive Coaching & John Agno of Signature Inc. have come together to offer two great new initiatives especially designed for women aspiring to leadership positions. Visit to read the details and weekly topics to be discussed in the Same Workplace-Different Realities Telephone Seminars Series.

or for the NEW Women Only -- Group Coaching Club which will run Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. EST for the months of October & November. Participants will be involved in actual coaching sessions and will bring issues or concerns that are important to them. This is learning at its best! Register early! Maximum 15 participants.

In Support of Women Executives

Although there is significant evidence of women's success in the corporate world over the last ten years, there still remains much to be accomplished if we are to see more women in senior management positions.

Women have not moved as far ahead in the workplace as many people believe and part of this is because as women rise to higher ranks it is important that they reach back and help support the women behind them.

Not all men who start the climb to the top make it by any means, just as not all women who attempt the climb will make it. It's a combination of ambition, skill, focus, determination, will, ability, tenacity, luck, time, and "numbers" in a company that gets one to the top. More women in the middle ranks put more women into the top ranks. Every year more women become CEO's of companies they didn't start. The numbers are growing but they are still small.

In her book, How to Think Like a CEO, Debra Benton asked fifty male and fifteen female CEO's what advice they would give to female wanna-be CEO's. Here's what the male CEO's said:

React like men to insignificant things, i.e., forget it. Don't be excessively emotional. Don't be defensive. Don't personalize. Don't be stubborn. Learn to deal with a certain "bullshit" quality men are used to dealing with and don't internalize it.

Work at becoming a better leader, not a better team player.

Work on being a better strategic planner rather than just a hard worker.

Be more ambitious. Realize men are prepared to sacrifice family for business. Don't be afraid to take on something new and make family sacrifices.

Have self-confidence, willingness, and the ability to promote yourself. Learn you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. But at the same time be patient for recognition.

Use every tool available to you, include humanness, femininity, nurturing, relating, etc. But at the same time improve confrontational skills. Be assertive with a smile.

Here's what the female CEO's said:

Don't overcompensate for being female, such as adopting male personality traits to compete with men. It's a mistake when women feel they have to act like a man to be tough in the business world.

Don't be suspicious of other women; be helpful and supportive.

Don't be unsophisticated in dealing with male counterparts. That is: Don't giggle. Don't have scattered thinking. Don't talk too much (petty or catty). Don't bring personal issues to the office. Don't be too social versus business oriented. Don't complain. Don't be overly emotional or overly nice.

Don't put up with anything. Start early to keep control of yourself and keep at it. Don't limit yourself and settle for less than you are capable of.

Don't personalize. You can't let it get to you. You need to strike a balance between being tough and having a sense of humor. Maybe you need to make some compromises. You need to ignore some injustices.

Debra also asked the female CEO's what they wish their male counterparts stop doing when working with them. Here's what they said:

Don't act superior. Don't act like women are on a lower level.

Don't patronize, condescend, or be solicitous.

Don't ignore what women have to say.

Don't be two-faced by speaking support to a woman's face, then speaking the opposite behind her back.

Don't be threatened by women but do take us seriously.

In our upcoming telephone seminar series entitled: Same Workplace/Different Realities we will be discussing a number of ways women can become more strategic about their career. To get the details on this telephone seminar series, please click on this link:

Same Workplace/Different Realities

A Telephone Seminar Series for Corporate Women

In our role as executive and personal development coaches, we see a number of highly skilled clients who are in need some fine-tuning when it comes to be recognized and supported for their abilities. These are intelligent, committed and hard working people. They are valued for their technical expertise bit miss some of the nuances or "invisible rules" that are required to be chosen for further advancement.

Since the culture at most companies has been shaped over time by male executives, women can be at a disadvantage when it comes to picking up on gender-based differences and subtle cues. A report by Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit, "Women and Men in U. S. Corporate Leadership: Same Workplace, Different Realities," found that 81% of women said that "adopting a style with which male managers are comfortable" is an important or very important strategy to advance one's career.

If the women in your organization are feeling some insight would be helpful to advance their careers, they are not alone.

At a time when 50.3% of all managers and professionals are female, women still comprise fewer than 2% of Fortune 1,000 CEOs and just 7.9% of Fortune 500 top earners. The Glass Ceiling remains unbroken.

Perhaps you know of women in your organization or network that are ready to start doing things slightly different in order to achieve the success they deserve?

If so, please suggest that they join Barb McEwen, Certified Master Executive Coach & Organizational Strategist and John Agno, Certified Executive & Business Coach for their Same Workplace / Different Realities telephone seminars. The link for full details, including all Weekly Topics, can be found at: