While the new trend of family-friendly policies is especially important to women, an increasing number of younger men are also
demanding more flexibility such as reduced
hours, part-time work and telecommuting. “At
Credit Suisse,” says Larry Ruisi, Americas Head
of Diversity and Inclusion, “our three-month
paid sabbatical is just one example of how we
support our working parents with work-life
solutions that help our employees succeed both
in the workplace and at home.”
The business case for embracing flexibility is not difficult to make: it maximizes results from training costs, minimizes recruiting costs, maintains client continuity, and helps retain and manage talent. As Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO William C. Weldon summarizes: “We create an environment that’s very positive so people want to come work here.”
Ernst & Young responded to the business challenge with a new company premise: all jobs can be done flexibly, so flexible work schedules won’t hinder advancement. After ten years, the number of women partners has more than tripled, many more women are in key operating and client service roles, and retention numbers have improved.
Initiatives that facilitate “on-ramping”—the return of women who have taken a break in their careers — are also becoming more commonplace. UBS’ Career Comeback program, for example, a relatively new initiative, accepts professionals who have had two- to seven-year-long breaks into an intense two-day program at Wharton, followed by one day of training at UBS in New York City.
Lehman Brothers’ Encore was designed as a global initiative to facilitate networking and professional development opportunities for individuals, both men and women, who have left the workforce voluntarily for a year or more and are interested in resuming their careers in financial services. Since its inception, the program has yielded 39 hires of experienced, professional individuals across all divisions around the globe.
Deloitte has already moved beyond flexibility programs to “custom-made” approaches. In a recent book, Mass Career Customization, co-author Cathleen Benko, Deloitte Vice Chair, urges other companies to consider Deloitte’s new workplace model, the corporate lattice™, which allows more variation in career paths than the traditional corporate ladder. The lattice model allows Deloitte to accommodate the inevitable ebbs and flows of each person’s career. Programs like these inspire great loyalty and commitment from the workforce and therefore add maximum value to the business.
The initiatives of All Bar None, The Women’s Network at UBS, support company goals to recruit, retain, develop and advance talented women, fromhosting workshops and speakers to providing an annual Women’s Leadership Conference. “UBS’s All Bar None women’s network enables us to deliver the highest-quality employee experience by creating a culture that values and promotes diversity. By capitalizing on the talents and contributions of our members, we can better serve our clients,” say Tracy Calder, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Wealth Management Americas, and Kevin Ruth, Head of Wealth Planning, Wealth Management Americas, both Co-Chairs of All Bar None Americas.
A host of family-friendly policies and practices enhance work/life balance.
UBS was named one of Working Mother’s 10 Best Companies in 2007.
UBS knows helping you fulfill all your goals benefits everyone.
That too many of the most talented women
still find themselves on the bench rather than
the playing field has been well documented.
There are still too few cracks in the so-called
glass ceiling, but the groundwork has been laid
for significant change.
Executive and professional women evaluating their career opportunities look for companies with the kinds of initiatives outlined here, and become activemembers in organizations like the Financial Women’s Association.
FWA: Half a Century of Success
In 1956, when eight women in finance were not able to enter a men’s business club, they started their own. “We felt very alone and isolated onWall Street then,” remembers Joan Farr, one of the original founders of the FinancialWomen’s Association (FWA) and its second president, recently retired as Bank of New York’s Vice President for Asset Management.
Alone and isolated no longer. Today the men’s club is long out of business, but the FWA is the finance industry’s premier professional organization and is going strong with a diverse membership of 1,000 women and men and over 100 events each year to advance, support, educate, promote and inspire women in the financial world.
Distinguished industry and government leaders share forward-looking perspectives and industry innovations. Professional development experts coach success strategies for women at each stage of the career continuum. And members generously contribute their own time and expertise to mentor businesswomen- to-be in high school, college and business schools.
The 23 corporate sponsors in the President’s Circle participate in all aspects of this work: They lend their experts and thought leadership. They encourage their employees — including many from their affinity groups and internal networks — to access FWA events and cultivate their leadership skills as members of the FWA committees and board. “Off-the-job training for on-the-job success” is the mantra of the hands-on FWA volunteer officers and board of 77, and an office of 5 full-time staff.
The FWA advances women’s success along the entire “arcs of our careers,” according to current President Lily Klebanoff Blake.Targeted initiatives from the professional development needs of Emerging Leaders, to those ofmore seasoned Executive Leaders, ensure that the FWA member’s experience is valuable over the long term. The benefits even last beyond careers, as Mary Farrell, a 35-year FWA member who recently retired fromUBS as its chief investment advisor, described: “the FWA network enhanced my career and me as an individual. That combination, and the connections, prepared me for a very rewarding retirement.”
Long before the term “globalization” was familiar, FWA had become known for its annual international conferences, which began with a trip to China in 1977. For JoAnn Heffernan Heisen, Global Head of Diversity at Johnson & Johnson and an FWA past president, that trip foreshadowed what would come to define the global course of her career.
Each year since 1985, the FWA has met with the highest-level government and private sector leaders in key growth economies around the globe on six continents, and this year will travel to Russia.
Filling the Pipeline
But at the end of the day, the most powerful illustration of the professional woman’s potential is a successful role model. And the most telling evidence of her accomplishments is her willingness to bring along other women — to “lift as she climbs.”
These coalesce at the FWA’s crowning event of the year, its Annual Dinner honoring a distinguished “Woman of the Year” from each of the public and private sectors. Funds raised at the dinner support FWA mentoring and academic scholarships for college and graduate school women, financial literacy for teens and low-income adults, the Wall Street Exchange summer intern program, educational programs for the business community, and the new microfinance initiative to support training for women working internationally in this field.
To date, FWA has awarded $1.1 million in scholarships to 252 women. And in partnership with HSBC it is embarking on an exciting new program to enrich its high school financial literacy program with an unprecedented $900,000 grant from HSBC.
“Why don’t women realize their goals?” They can, they do and they will. With the FWA and women-friendly companies leading the way, the time is now for the 21st century financial woman.
For more information, visit www.fwa.org.
Ninety-nine percent of leadership development programs offered by elite business schools are male-oriented … which is precisely why they fail when it comes to leadership learning for women!
Here are four crucial ways Smith’s all-women leadership approach offers an advantage over just about any top business school you can name.
#1 | Increased Risk-Taking
Problem: Most women executives experience isolation in “maleoriented” leadership development programs, and thus are less inclined to take risks. Yet, breakthrough learning only occurs when a person can step beyond her everyday boundaries and take risks!
Advantage: Smith’s all-female setting systematically creates an environment of shared experiences, candor and trust—which leads to increased risk-taking and accelerated leadership development.
#2 | Not Leadership, Women’s Leadership
Problem: The curriculum of most “Top 10” leadership development programs succeeds academically, but fails when it comes to addressing how women executives actually lead.
Advantage: Smith Executive Education is a “Women’s Leadership Center” focused on addressing the challenges women leaders actually face.We handpick the best women’s leadership experts from universities, corporations and consultancies to focus on the leadership issues that really matter.
#3 | Exposure to Your Real Peers
Problem: Typical networking opportunities are male-dominated and devoid of accomplished, high-performing women.
Advantage: Smith’s all-women executive programs afford women the chance to network with their real peers: other women leaders and high-potentials. Ninety percent of our attendees report that Smith’s learning environment enhanced their network in truly meaningful ways, professionally and personally.
#4 | Lead in Business and Lead in Life
Problem: Since 99% of leadership development programs offered by elite business schools are male-oriented, they simply fail to address one of the most basic cornerstones of Women’s Leadership: Work-Life Balance.
Advantage: Our 360-degree approach to executive learning helps women learn, grow and lead in all aspects of their lives. The very qualities inherent in the women we develop also happen to be identified by researchers as essential to great leadership, regardless of gender.
Strategic Leadership Programs
Smith College Leadership Consortium, a flagship women’s executive education program aimed at the director and vice president levels, will be held for two weeks on the Smith College campus from July 20-August 1, 2008.
Smith-Tuck Global Leaders Program for senior executives who are leading global businesses is a partnership between Smith and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and will be held July 8-11, 2008, on the Smith College campus.
Next Generation Bioscience Leaders invites female managers in pharmaceutical, medical and biotechnology to hone their leadership skills for advancement, and will be held at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, Calif., January 19-23, 2009.
From Specialist to Strategist: Business Excellence forWomen in Science, Technology and Engineering gives women in these fields the tools to advance to positions of leadership, and will be held in March and June 2009 on the Smith College campus.
To learn more about any of these Smith Executive Education programs, visit www.smith.edu/execed/, or call IrisMarchaj, Director, at 413.585.2798.
Alliance for Board Diversity. “Women and Minorities on Fortune 100 Boards.” Washington, D.C.: 2008.
Bennetts, Leslie. The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? Harvard Business School Press: Boston, 2007.
Benko, Cathleen, and AnneWeisberg. Mass Career Customization: Aligning theWorkplace with Today’s Nontraditional Workforce. Harvard Business School Press: Boston, 2007.
Catalyst. “The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity.” New York: 2004.
Catalyst. “Women and Men in U.S. Corporate Leadership: SameWorkplace, Different Realities?” New York: 2004.
Catalyst. “Men ‘Take Charge,’Women ‘Take Care’: Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed.” New York: 2005.
FinancialWomen’s Association. “The FWA 100: The News Is Bittersweet,” 2007.
Hewlett, Sylvia Ann, and Carolyn Buck Luce. “Off- Ramps and On-Ramps: KeepingTalentedWomen on the Road to Success,” Harvard Business Review, Boston, 2005.