Women must speak up and ask
Posted : Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Women have to use their voice, ask for that promotion or pay
rise and stop expecting perfection from themselves, Ingeus
Limited, Managing Director,
Thérèse Rein, has told a CEDA audience in
Speaking as part of CEDA's Women in Leadership Series she said:
"We have to be proud of what we do. We have to use our voice and we
have to ask," she said.
Ms Rein said a senior executive male colleague who, has been in
business for 30 years, had never been approached by a female
employee to ask for a pay rise or initiated that conversation.
"His experience was that women undersell their experience and
their capability...that men are unafraid of taking credit for what
they do and unafraid about asking for a pay rise and they're
unafraid of initiating a conversation about what next," she
"I see women holding themselves back ... and expecting
perfection, and we have to stop it."
Deloitte, Managing Partner Victoria,
Geoff Roberts, said: "I think for leaders we have
to look for that too. If females haven't put their hand up, we need
to say, why aren't you putting yourself forward?"
A McKinsey report found "70 per cent of women rate their
performance as equivalent to peers, 70 per cent of men rate theirs
better than their peers," he said.
"Generally what I have seen, and what I saw at AXA, was that if
some males could do five out of 10 tasks for the role, they'd say
'no problem, I'm up for it', whereas some females could do eight
out of the 10 and they said 'no, I'm not ready for that'."
On work life balance Ms Rein said: "I think I had no awareness
of a glass ceiling. I had parents who always thought I could do
anything I wanted to."
"Being able to forgive myself for not being super mum, for not
being able to produce the gourmet meal" was very enabling, she
Providing an example of a model that has improved female
participation in the workforce, Ms Rein said in Sweden women's
participation in the workforce is very high and that usually both
men and women will successively take a year off when a child is
"What that means is that both men and women experience careerus
interuptus," she said.
In Sweden "organisations are all geared to keeping people linked
to that workplace to giving them advise of what's happening,...
taking opportunities of training, and reintegrating people into the
workplace. And it clearly works to increase women's participation,"
Mr Roberts said the business case for "fishing in the wider
talent pool" and increasing female participation in the workforce
was evident and should bring about diversity of thought in
"Diversity of thought is a competitive advantage, it leads to
innovation and risk mitigation if you get it right, but only
diversity plus inclusion leads to better business outcomes," he
Mr Roberts spoke about initiatives Deloitte is implementing to
increase the recruitment and retention of women which include:
Return to the news
- Checking for unconscious bias in recruitment and
- Normalise flexible work;
- Setting up female talent pipelines;
- Inclusive leadership training; and
- Mentors - using internal and external relationships and