Predictions by McKinsey & Company and others are that it will take more than 100 years at the current pace of change to achieve gender parity in the C-Suite.
Succession planning is like a sport’s drafting and trading process. You look across the organisation and identify crucial skills, knowledge and behaviour that will be needed in the future, and consider how to get those skills or impart them to up-and-comers.
This form of planning helps organisations prepare for demographic change and talent scarcity. It also identifies skills gaps and training needs, and boosts morale and retention by investing in employees and providing paths for advancement. Further, it guards against costly vacancies.
Succession planning that works for women relies on the following dimensions being present by design;
- A positive role played by allies, advocates and sponsors
- A broad view regarding the definition of job roles and the expertise and experience required
- A broad view of the potential transfer of skills and experiences from other functions and industries
- An acceptance of calculated, courageous risks to put talent in stretch positions and assignments
- Targeted cultivation of gender balance at all stages of the pipeline and across all functional areas
- A workplace culture where women thrive at every level
And addresses these questions:
- How can we critically assess our current succession planning against the above dimensions and close the gaps to ensure our processes are moving us toward gender balanced outcomes?
- What are the challenges?
- What solutions can we share?