My lunchtime speed read today was the Irish Times article ‘Ireland falls to eighth place on gender gap rankings’
It gave me the unwelcome news that ‘Ireland has slipped two places in an international gender gap survey table from the World Economic Forum. …….According to the latest survey, the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace over the past nine years. Women’s attainments and opportunities in the workplace now stand at 60 per cent compared to men….. This is up from 56 per cent in the first report issued in 2006. Based on this trajectory, with all else remaining equal, it will take 81 years for the world to close this gap completely.’
Wow. So not in my lifetime, unless that is, you work in Google, TPI or the other hundreds of companies that are smart enough to recognise that smart women make smart business sense.
I attended the recent exhilarating Women@Google event in the Foundry Building and listened to successful real women like Eileen Naughton, Managing Director for Google’s UK & Ireland, Orlaith Blaney, CEO McCann Blue, Aoife Desmond, Industry Manager at Twitter, Mary Moloney is the new Global CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation. Powerful leaders in digital in hugely successful companies brought us the message that ‘outcomes for businesses with women at the top are so much better’’.
Their stories and tips were practical, creative and engaging – some of the qualities women bring to organisations.
The event inspired me and I couldn’t but feel a bit smug about the fact I work in a company where I am happy to say has a higher than average percentage of women in senior positions. In the business as a whole 56% of staff are male. However in senior positions we score even more highly – 2 of our 5 directors are women. Our Head of Manufacturing, in a traditionally male dominated industry, is a women, our Head of Finance is a women, we have strong women coming up through the ranks smashing that glass ceiling.
Ireland and the world has a lot of work to do but we as women do too. Here are a few nugget tips delivered with huge humour from the MD of Google UK & Ireland:
- Tackle Hard Problems
- Deliver Results
- Be ruthlessly prepared – ‘Top of your Game’
- Speak the truth – use data – ‘Call it as you see it’ – women are good communicators
- Choose your boss. ‘You have feet, use them’
- Be a snob for talent – ‘Move out weak, hire people sharper than you’
- In terms of work life balance Eileen advised us to ‘Manage Disequilibrium’
- And finally to ‘Follow our Tropism’ – Play to your strengths,
“Never apologise for your gender. If fabulous women like you aren’t procreating there is a bigger problem” Eileen Naughton #womenatgoogle