Tag Archives: promotion

Corporate Social Responsibility – what about inside the organization?

30 Sep

This week I was forwarded the list of Canada’s 50 Best Corporate Citizens (2011). It’s a list that Corporate Knights (“the Magazine for Clean Capitalism”) started about 10 years ago.

Who knew there was such a list? I was amazed!

I discovered  through Madelaine Drohan’s article in the report (entitled Big country, small steps) that corporate social responsibility can mean very different things;  from making sure child labour isn’t used in the supply chain, to building schools in Africa, to preventing high school drop outs right here at home.  Not bad, I thought. Good to know that there are large companies that are looking at more than profits. Hooray!

Further into the report, I came across a scorecard which tracks “the environmental, social and governance performance of the S&P/TSX60 Companies on the 2011 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.  I thought I would find some great stats about what these companies are doing internally as well, to match their social responsibility externally.

I was disappointed.

A few things stand out in particular among these stats about corporate citizens who are up to some great things:

  • the number of female company directors in 2010 was 14.61% (UP from 14.49% in 2009, but still low)
  • the number of company directors who were either visible minorities or aboriginal  in 2010 was 2.92% (DOWN from 4.06 in 2009)
  • and the ratio of CEO salary to the lowest paid employees salary INCREASED by 8.70%

Sigh.

I’m not sure why I’m surprised. I often see companies making efforts in diversity and inclusion outside their walls (arguably where it looks good and they get kudos) before tackling any change inside. I guess I thought that with the corporate halo shining brightly for these 50 companies, that maybe, just maybe, they would be different.  I know it’s just a graph and I don’t have the whole story by far, but it suggests a lot.  

Would it be great if corporate social responsibility included creating an inclusive, welcoming workplace  that valued diversity and inclusion – with representation at all levels and smaller pay gaps (for example) to prove it?

See more.

Copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder
author, speaker and facilitator on issues of diversity and inclusion
www.beeing.ca

Advertisements

More than Mentorship

19 Sep

Mentorship has been around for a long time, but there is a new “ship” on the block! Sponsorship. In light of my recent posts, I thought this would be a good topic for today.

Mentorship is about development. Sponsorship is about advancement. While development can lead to advancement, given the (often unconscious) bias in business (see, for example, my previous blogs on women in senior management) it is clear that development is not enough.

A sponsor must be someone at a higher level than you in the organization. They also must have power within that organization. Why? Because their role is to “go to bat” for you; to put your name in the ring, to bring you up in the critical conversations, to help get you in the door when getting in is largely about visibility. Because, at the end of the day, if no one knows you are there, it doesn’t matter how good you are.  

It struck me as I read Catalyst Canada’s recent report on sponsorship, that this is a formal system that mimics what has been going on in the “Old (white) Boys Network” informally forever – deals done over golf, people introduced over lunch, skipping over a few rungs in the ladder because someone knows someone and makes an introduction. It’s sad that we need to formalize the system so others can get in. But there it is.

Advancement, it seems, is still largely not about what you know, but who. It seems then, that (sadly), women and visible minorities still don’t seem to “know” the right people to get the big jobs. Sponsorship can help. It’s what we need to do to see some representation in leadership that comes with credibility so it can withstand the sceptics.

A great article to read about this topic is in Forbes magazine: Making Partner; Sponsorship and Gender Bias.

See more.

copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder
author, speaker and facilitator on issues of diversity & inclusion
www.beeing.ca

5 Ways to Increase the Number of Women in Senior Management

6 Sep

On the heels of last week’s interview with Anne Golden (CEO of the Conference Board of Canada) on CBC, here are 5 things Anne suggested companies need to do, to make a conscious effort to increase the number of women in senior management.  Anne made reference to these as steps CP Rail has taken in their effort (with success).

Of course, these are not specific to increasing the representation of women in senior roles…

Strategy
Making a more representative senior management team is not something that will happen on it’s own. It requires commitment and a strategy. Strategies suggest that something is important, and gives it more weight while obviously providing a road map for accomplishing the goal.

Tracking
Anne’s words in the interview were “what you inspect gets respect”. Making sure you know how you are doing vis à vis your goal is a crucial component in reaching it. And tracking your progress also keeps the issue on your radar.

Networking Across the Organization
The opportunity to talk with and learn from others – in this case other women in similar roles, or other women in higher roles – is helpful for personal and professional growth. Networks build support systems, can create opportunities, and at the very least let us know we are not alone.

Recruitment & Succession Planning
Make no mistake, this is not about quotas. But if you have a commitment to increasing the number of women in senior roles, you need a plan. This is an internal plan for the women you currently employ who are on the track to senior management, as well as a plan for your hiring process.

Experience / Training for Promotion
Further to the above, mentoring and providing training  & professional development for the women in your organization so that they have a fair chance of being promoted is key. This is not to say that promotion won’t happen without this, but given our national track record, it would seem that making sure female employees have as much in their professional toolkit as possible would help break through the obvious bias that exists.

Again, these steps can be applied to any group that is under-represented in your senior management. Take a look around and see who is missing.

See more.

copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder
author, professional speaker, and facilitator on issues of diversity & inclusion
www.beeing.ca

%d bloggers like this: