Diversity of Thought Blog

Lack of Women in Senior Leadership is Bad for Business

Level the Playing Field: Turning Gender Leadership Rhetoric into More Effective Action

The lack of women in senior leadership positions is bad for business.

This view is set to be one of many issues confronted by a new symposium to address the lack of gender balance in leadership.

“Gender imbalance is not just bad for business, it’s unhealthy for any organisation,” said Frances Feenstra, Chair of The 100% Project which is staging the symposium in partnership with Leadership Victoria.

“While there is much talk about ‘the best person for the job’ from the Prime Minister down, there is not enough action to ensure the ‘best gender balance in leadership’. These aspirations are not mutually exclusive.

“This symposium will address that problem head on.”

Systemic problem: new thinking required

In order to move forward, organisations must acknowledge that gender imbalance for women in leadership is a complex systemic problem.

“Sadly, most policies and practices implemented by organisations, thus far, have been largely unsuccessful in solving this ongoing problem,” Frances noted.

“They simply have not delved deep enough into the root cause of the gender imbalance in leadership. They remain superficial solutions that do little in solving a systemic problem.

“So can we ‘level the playing field’ in any real way? How do we turn all the gender leadership rhetoric into more effective action?

“We have to adapt. New thinking is required.”

Adaptive Leadership

The aim of the Adaptive Leadership Symposium is to challenge current practices. It aims to promote a fundamental change in the way organisations operate including their systems and processes.