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GovLoop and Deloitte Live Chat: Gender Dividends and Paths to Power


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On Tuesday, March 1, GovLoop and Deloitte teamed up to host a live chat with two leading experts on gender roles in the workforce. Learn more about the event at

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GovLoop and Deloitte Live Chat: Gender Dividends and Paths to Power

  1. 1. GovLoop Chat: The Gender Dividend/ Paths to Power 3/1/2011Govloop: Thanks for joining us today on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon. You are here for an awesome GovLoop chat onthe topic of gender dividend and paths to power. Today is a special day.Govloop: Before we start I wanted to set the ground rules on our GovLoop chat. I’m also your host/moderator today.This is about you and your questions. If you have a question, please click on my name at the right and send me aquestion. If you ignore my instructions, I will be forced to kick you out...I’m just kidding. But it works better if you sendthe questions to me on the right.Govloop: Today’s chat is brought to us by our supporter, Deloitte. We are lucky enough today to have both SallyD’Amato and Anne Weisberg with us today to talk about these issues.Govloop: They have written two really great papers lately on this topic of gender dividend. The first paper is Paths toPower - Advancing women in Government. The newest is The Gender Dividend - Making the Business Case for Investingin Women.Govloop: To get us going... my 1st question for Sally and Anne is: Tell us what you learned in your recent papers.Sally D’Amato: What we’ve discovered is both Good news/Bad news. On the good news side there are more women inleadership in the public sector than in the private sector. This is true even in some traditionally male roles, like CFO andCIO. But on the bad news side, women are overrepresented at the bottom.Anne Weisberg: For example, in federal workforce, 67% of Grades 1-4 are women, but only 30% of those at senior paylevels are women.Govloop: That’s awesome. Anne I loved the stats in your paper. Canyou tell more stats you found in your study? In fact, the numbers at the topAnne Weisberg: Women are the majority of college students - and havent budged. Women are onlyhave been since the mid-1980. This year, for the first time, women 16% of corporate officers of Fortunereceived the majority of PHDs in the US. The problem is they are not 500 companies. That hasn’t changedmaking it to the top. In fact, the numbers at the top havent budged. since 2005. In other words: progressWomen are only 16% of corporate officers of Fortune 500 companies. has stalled.That hasn’t changed since 2005. In other words: progress has stalled.Govloop: Awesome... the questions are coming in next question -keep on sending them. The numbers are what theyare, but what is it that government can do to remedy the representation and ensure better equality of the genders intop management?Sally D’Amato: Womens careers dont follow a straight line...the majority of women dont work continuously over thecourse of a 40 year career.Sally D’Amato: Government can put systems in place to allow women to dial up and dial down without dialing out.Govloop: Awesome. Next question: Where did you get the stats? Where did the numbers come from? [Type the company address] Page 1
  2. 2. GovLoop Chat: The Gender Dividend/ Paths to Power 3/1/2011Anne Weisberg: We get them from you! Many of our stats come from the agencies where you work - Dept of Labor andDept of Education. Some of them come from non-profits and others come from other research weve done at Deloitte.Govloop: Keep the question coming...just find my name and send a direct message. Question: How does this divide ofthose at the top and at the bottom compare with the private sector?Sally D’Amato: The private sector lags in certain cases the public I’m participating in @GovLoop chat onsector. 10% of heads of state in the world were woman in 2009. But gender dividends. It annoys me that onlyonly 3% of global CEOs were women. So theres a bit of a disparity... 3% of global CEOs are women. Let’s all step up.Govloop: Keep the questions rocking....Question: What can we as @kristyfifelskiwomen do on an individual level to ensure that we are considered for(and get) top level positions?Anne Weisberg: A big reason for why women arent advancing is the way women think about opportunities. You have tounderstand that it isnt enough to keep your head down - the meritocracy includes building relationshipsSally D’Amato: ...and what I like to call a power base. Anne Weisberg: Invest in your network, find and be a Mentorship And Sponsorship Is Not The Same. mentor. You need to cultivate your sponsors. A mentor is someone who invests time in you. Sally D’Amato: Exactly. And mentorship and sponsorship is A sponsor is someone who is invested in your success... not the same. A mentor is someone who invests time in You need both. Its not one or the other. you. A sponsor is someone who is invested in your success... You need both. Its not one or the other.Michael Jadoo: I think women have helped and advanced our work ethics in government.Govloop: Great answer. On the phone line. Ping me on the right. Next question we have is from Patt Franc. The FederalWomens Program has all but dwindled in many agencies. A large percentage of agencies dont file the requiredManagement Directive 715 report. There seems to be no push to get data, and no penalty to hold agenciesaccountable! Why?Anne Weisberg: The business case for advancing women has not been clearly stated - but that doesnt mean it doesntexist. Women in government are more likely to raise, recognize and address the concerns of women.Sally D’Amato: Our research shows that oversight and regulation of laws that exist is sorely lacking.Anne Weisberg: What we have found is that the laws on the books are not enough to create this change.Anne Weisberg: They are necessary but not sufficient. People need to understand why they should make thisinvestment in womens retention and advancement. That goes back to the business case.Sally D’Amato: Its a cultural shift to a large extent. In both the public and private sectors. [Type the company address] Page 2
  3. 3. GovLoop Chat: The Gender Dividend/ Paths to Power 3/1/2011Govloop: Half way 15 minutes to go. Keep your questions coming - send me a private message on theright directly. Comment from the crowd from Shelly: I also think its critical to point out that the definition of success isvery gendered as well.Anne Weisberg: There are multiple ways of viewing success - themore diversity we see in the workplace, the more definitions of Just to be clear - success and ambitionsuccess there are. It is very important to know what success looks are not the same. Women are just aslike for yourself. ambitious as men; they just mayAnne Weisberg: Just to be clear - success and ambition are not define success differently than men.the same. Women are just as ambitious as men; they just maydefine success differently than men.Govloop: Great answers Anne and Sally. If it was recent that women came up to par with men in terms of PhDs/collegegraduates, then could it be just a time factor? We need time to get the experience that older men in top positionshave already had?Govloop: That’s a great question from Kristy...Sally D’Amato: No....Sally D’Amato: Over the past 25 years, the measures have indicated that women are getting stuck. Women tend not toinvest in building out their business networks.Anne Weisberg: But it is not just an individual issue, its also an organizational issue.Sally D’Amato: So the frame is two-fold it is on the individual and on the organization to address this issue.Anne Weisberg: For example: There is an individual responsibility to look for that next stretch assignment to help yougrow and develop, but also an organizational responsibility that everyone (men and women) have the sameopportunities for development.Sally D’Amato: Its a shared responsibility...Govloop: Are there specific success stories that you can point to that organizations can use to help further womensadvancement in government?Govloop: Great question from Austin out there…Hey Austin.Sally D’Amato: Well theres obviously Deloitte...Anne Weisberg: Deloitte started its Womens Initiative in 1993. Women were coming into the firm at the same rate asmen but leaving at a higher rate. It turns out that was hugely expensive. This left Deloitte with a much smaller pool forleadership. Today, in part because of the Womens Initiative, weve gone from 97 women partners in 1993 to over 1,000women partners. [Type the company address] Page 3
  4. 4. GovLoop Chat: The Gender Dividend/ Paths to Power 3/1/2011Anne Weisberg: The Womens Initiative has helped bring in over 750 million dollars of new business in the last five yearsalone.Sally D’Amato: Yep...folks may want to check out The Corporate Lattice as one of the ways we look to help allemployees dial up and dial down as needed - Wow 5 minutes left and its really hopping in here. Well try to get to all the questions we can, and if not, wellfollow up and take them on to a GovLoop discussion thread.Govloop: Next question is for Sally. How about companies/agencies that include/encourage telecommuting? Do youfind that there are more women in leadership positions at these types of work places? Does telecommuting help?Sally D’Amato: I dont know of any research to prove or support that claim. But we do see that men and women usetelecommuting pretty much the same… We all need day to day flexibility in our lives!Anne Weisberg: In fact, we had over 1000 people attend a session on flexibility last week 91% of them said they neededflexibility.Sally D’Amato: For flexibility always think win/win. Whats good for you and whats good for yourorganization/manager.Govloop: Well, this is an awesome chat. And we really only have time for only one last question. The rest we will get onto our GovLoop discussion thread.Govloop: Thanks Deloitte for sponsoring this awesome chat and for Sally and Anne for being awesome. Heres the lastquestion from Patt: OK if we need to invest in ourselves, it would help if more successful women were there to helpsupport and provide information on getting from here to there. Where is this network of successful women and howto we tap into it?Sally D’Amato: Its not just networking woman to woman....its networking broadly with men and women and findingthose champions and sponsors who will help you in your career advancement. Using networks like GovLoop, FederallyEmployed Women, Business and Professional Womens Association is another that comes to mind. If you find a reallygood network let us know! Share with your colleagues (or start a new one).Govloop: Well that’s all folks. We keep the chats to 30 minutes to keep them useful and practical.Sally D’Amato: Wow that went fast.... Really excited to see so many peopleAnne Weisberg: Thank you everyone interested in the topic THAT is serious progress right there!GovLoop: Thanks Anne and Sally for being so awesome. They will take @shellytregemboall your additional questions.Andrew Krzmarzick: Great resource page here: [Type the company address] Page 4