Advancing Women in Leadership and How Organizations are Getting It Wrong | Part 2

I was an official “people leader.” I had a leadership title, I had direct reports – yet I was not offered any sort of leadership training for four years. Now, that completely scared me back then. I couldn’t believe I was promoted and not offered any training. Yet, come to find out, that’s more than twice as quick as the average manager receiving training.

A Harvard Business Review study found that between the average age of when a leader is first promoted to the average age that they first receive training, the difference is nine years. Nine years! I mean, imagine all of the potential employees that quit because they were reporting into a bad manager. And potentially not even to that manager’s fault, they just knew how to be a great individual contributor, but they didn’t know how to be a really strong people leader, and they weren’t offered the training.

This is the second mistake that organizations are making when it comes to advancing women in leadership specifically.

Because HR leaders say that in order to promote people to leadership, they really are looking for strong leadership skills. Yet, we’re not offering the training, on average, until after they’ve been promoted. So we already have a broken system at the beginning. If women want to advance in leadership, the training has to be offered early on.

Now if you are looking for that, you could do what I did, which was take it into my own hands and go out and find the leadership training myself. Nothing was being proactively offered to me, so I researched and read, I attended online and in-person seminars and conferences.

But if I were to do it all over again, I would have approached it a little bit differently.

Even though it wasn’t being brought to me, I could have gone to my management and asked. Maybe there was some sort of formal leadership training internally that I didn’t know about, or my manager forgot to tell me, or maybe all of those conferences and seminars that I found on my own my organization might’ve reimbursed me for that. Many people know that companies offer educational reimbursement, but they believe it’s for a master’s degree or a doctoral degree.

They don’t understand that it can be used toward leadership development, or any other type of professional development. So proactively ask – don’t wait for somebody to bring something to you.

Now, if you’re interested in learning more about how I train women in leadership, I would be happy to speak with you about that. Please message me, or you can email me directly. But we want to make sure that training is offered early, so that we can really accelerate advancing women in leadership.

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