What Keeps High-Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions VIII: Conclusions
Companies interested in retaining high-achieving women and moving them into executive positions should not approach solutions as “fixing the women.” As mentioned in a previous essay, there are cultural and procedural shifts that can be made within a company to better accommodate the needs and values of these women. In addition, the possible problems listed above are mostly a matter of perspective and not a lack of competence. If left alone, the women may gain wisdom over time and learn how to adapt their behaviors to achieve greater success. Yet sometimes they only look back on their careers and wish they had done things differently. Therefore, if they are willing, working with a coach or mentor to expand or even change their perspective can enhance the process of learning and growing through experience.
Clearly, being a leader means more than inspiring others to perform. Going from being an outstanding individual performer to being a successful leader of others requires a new self-definition. Management training and leadership books may describe what types of behaviors work best, but the women will not take on these behaviors until they identify if they want to be a leader and who they must become to fulfill this role successfully.