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7 Deadly Myths about Women in Business

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This International Women's Day, INSEAD takes a look at persistent myths about women in business that need to be shattered and replaced with clear facts. Because when women have the same opportunities to rise up the ranks and take the lead, organisations do better.

#IWD2017 #BeBoldForChange

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Published in: Leadership & Management

7 Deadly Myths about Women in Business

  1. 1. 7Deadly Myths about Women in Business
  2. 2. “Women are bad at negotiating.” Myth 1
  3. 3. FACT: Women negotiate just as well as men, when the playing field is levelled. ”’Nice Girls Don’t Negotiate’ & Other Gender Myths”. Horacio Falcão. INSEAD Knowledge. June 2014.
  4. 4. ” …Why the gender pay gap does not reflect the 'choices' women make”. Lisa Annese. The Guardian. November 2016. Women also ask for a raise as often as men. But men are 25% more likely to be given one than women.
  5. 5. ” …Why the gender pay gap does not reflect the 'choices' women make”. Lisa Annese. The Guardian. November 2016. Negotiation is usually associated with agentic, masculine behaviour. When employers negotiate with women, they tend to offer less and are more likely to resist influence attempts.
  6. 6. “Women are good negotiators. Female- associated behaviours, such as supporting others, curiosity, cooperation, and convincing, are increasingly regarded as important negotiation techniques.”
  7. 7. “Women with children will not have time to meet leadership obligations.” Myth 2
  8. 8. ”Are Women’s Leadership Assumptions Holding Them Back?” Xiaowei Rose Luo. INSEAD Knowledge. March 2016. FACT: When it comes to leadership and decision-making, quality trumps quantity—or the amount of time spent behind the desk.
  9. 9. ”Are Women’s Leadership Assumptions Holding Them Back?” Xiaowei Rose Luo. INSEAD Knowledge. March 2016. Workplace flexibility and family-friendly policies attract better talent, which raises productivity.
  10. 10. “I became very organised [after having children], creating a strict schedule and allocating specific times for work and for family. I have continued this same discipline upon returning to work.”
  11. 11. “Women lack the confidence to lead.” Myth 3
  12. 12. FACT: Women and men have comparable leadership ambitions and… …career aspirations at the start of their careers. “It’s not lack of confidence holding women back, it’s the myths we tell ourselves”. Lisa Annese. The Guardian. November 2012.
  13. 13. But as women progress in their careers, they report a combination of obstacles that wear down their confidence over time.
  14. 14. “It’s not lack of confidence holding women back, it’s the myths we tell ourselves”. Lisa Annese. The Guardian. November 2012. not being able to imagine fitting into the stereotype of success not being able to access the career flexibility they need not receiving important sponsorship from influential leaders These often cited obstacles include:
  15. 15. “A Simple Exercise Can Help Women Overcome Self-Doubt to Succeed”. Zoe Kinias. Harvard Business Review. August 2016. Women’s self-doubt is a product of the environment— the long-term societal influence and the broader business landscape. Bolstering self-confidence makes people more resilient, but we also need to improve the environments that undermine women.
  16. 16. “The Leadership Development Programme helped me put myself and my life into perspective, understand and value my strengths. I also learnt to accept my weaknesses and to ask for support when I need it.”
  17. 17. “Women executives are unsupportive of other women.” Myth 4
  18. 18. FACT: 65% of women who received career development support… …are developing new talent compared to 56% of men. “Paying It Forward Pays Back for Business Leaders”. Catalyst. November 2012.
  19. 19. And 73% of the women developing new talent are developing other women, compared to only 30% of men. “Paying It Forward Pays Back for Business Leaders”. Catalyst. November 2012.
  20. 20. “In my previous job, I was the most senior woman in the Middle East, so one would think that investing in my network of female colleagues wouldn’t bring benefits. Yet two of my biggest breaks came through the support of other women. Don’t compete, join forces.”
  21. 21. “Women don’t have what it takes to be entrepreneurs.” Myth 5
  22. 22. FACT: Women entrepreneurs rose by nearly 10% in 2013 compared to a 3.3% increase in men taking the entrepreneurial leap. “…5 entrepreneurial myths debunked”. Josephine Fairley. The Telegraph. January 2015.
  23. 23. “2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report”. BNP Paribas. Companies led by women entrepreneurs had 13% higher revenues than those run by men and finished 9% above the average.
  24. 24. “Starting a business is a time-intensive commitment that impacts not only you but also everyone in your life—make sure that you do your research and assess the risks before diving head in.”
  25. 25. “Women are bad at math.” Myth 6
  26. 26. ”Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving”. Titu Andreescu et al. AMS. Vol. 55, No. 10 FACT: It’s not a matter of biology: the maths-gender gap, where it occurs, is due to cultural factors that differ among countries—and they can be changed.
  27. 27. “If you really think you are good with numbers, then you really are. At work, my boss started to take me seriously when I showed him my 730 GMAT score.”
  28. 28. “It won’t be long before women catch up with men in business.” Myth 7
  29. 29. FACT: Women are less likely to receive their first critical promotion to manager and are less likely to be hired into more senior positions, putting fewer women on the leadership path. “Women in the Workplace 2016” McKinsey & Company; Lean In Foundation.
  30. 30. “Women in the Workplace 2015” McKinsey & Company; Lean In Foundation. If the slow progress over the last three years continues, it will take 25 years to reach gender parity at the senior VP level and more than 100 years at the C-suite.
  31. 31. “Work with and through allies—including men! The best strategy is to create a coalition of managers, mentors and peers who recognise that the issue [of gender bias] exists, and work with them to tackle the problem head-on.”
  32. 32. “If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
  33. 33. At INSEAD, diversity includes supporting and empowering women in every way: Annual INSEAD Women in Business Conference INSEAD Celebrates Women Scholarships for Women Women in Business Club Women@INSEAD
  34. 34. INSEAD is also a proud partner of: Forté Foundation Professional Women’s Network
  35. 35. REFERENCES (in order of citation) ‘Nice Girls Don’t Negotiate’ & Other Gender Myths Horacio Falcão. INSEAD Knowledge. June 2014. http://knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/nice-girls-dont-negotiate-other-gender-myths-3414 Dispelling the Myths: Why the gender pay gap does not reflect the ‘choices’ women make Lisa Annese. The Guardian. November 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/08/dispelling-the-myths-why-the-gender-pay-gap- does-not-reflect-the-choices-women-make Are Women’s Leadership Assumptions Holding Them Back? Xiaowei Rose Luo. INSEAD Knowledge. March 2016. http://knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/are-womens-leadership-assumptions-holding-them-back-4600 It’s not lack of confidence holding women back, it’s the myths we tell ourselves. Lisa Annese. The Guardian. November 2012. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/mar/08/its-not-lack-of-confidence-holding-women-back- its-the-myths-we-tell-ourselves
  36. 36. REFERENCES (in order of citation, continued) A Simple Exercise Can Help Women Overcome Self-Doubt to Succeed Zoe Kinias. Harvard Business Review. August 2016. https://hbr.org/2016/08/a-simple-exercise-can-help-women-overcome-self-doubt-and-succeed Paying It Forward Pays Back for Business Leaders Catalyst. November 2012. http://www.catalyst.org/media/paying-it-forward-pays-back-business-leaders You can start a business and here's how. Five entrepreneurial myths debunked. Josephine Fairley. The Telegraph. January 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/11340080/Womens-business-advice-5-entrepreneurship- myths-debunked.html 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report https://group.bnpparibas/en/news/bnp-paribas-global-entrepreneurs-report-2016 Full Report: https://wealthmanagement.bnpparibas.com/public/dx/news-2015-11- 05_en/%24FILE/2016%20BNP%20Paribas%20Global%20Entrepreneur%20Report.pdf
  37. 37. REFERENCES (in order of citation, continued) Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving Titu Andreescu et al. American Mathematical Society. Vol. 55, No. 10 http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/10math_report.pdf Women in the Workplace 2016 McKinsey & Company; Lean In Foundation. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/women-in-the-workplace-2016 Full Report: https://womenintheworkplace.com/Women_in_the_Workplace_2016.pdf Women in the Workplace 2015 McKinsey & Company; Lean In Foundation. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/women-in-the-workplace Full Report: https://womenintheworkplace.com/Women_in_the_Workplace_2015.pdf
  38. 38. KNOWLEDGE The information used in this presentation is brought to you by INSEAD
  39. 39. fb.com/INSEAD @INSEAD | @INSEADKnowledge linkedin.com/company/INSEAD youtube.com/INSEAD google.com/+INSEAD

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