Gender Diversity Benefits

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Gender Diversity Benefits

The panel I moderated at CVX Expo last week in Anaheim was original. Women in the Channel presented a discussion on Gender Diversity with Nancy Ridge (Vice President, Telecom Brokers and President & Co-Founder, Women in the Channel); Nicole Hayward (SVP of Marketing & Product Management at OnSIP Business VoIP) and Michael Oeth (CEO of OnSIP Business VoIP).

The slides have been published on Slideshare. Take a look.

Only 20% of the attendees at Google I/O 2015 are women. 17% of Google's technical workforce is female. Yet women are 50% of the college graduates. We need more women in STEM. There are financial benefits of women leadership.

McKinsey&Company: "Between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. That's probably no coincidence."

Companies in the top 20% have 37% female leadership. [source]

A report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute revealed that those firms dominated by men had recovered more slowly since the 2008 financial downturn than those with a more balanced male-female ratio.

According to HBR, "Globally, [women] control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending, and that figure could climb as high as $28 trillion in the next five years. [Women's] $13 trillion in total yearly earnings could reach $18 trillion in the same period." [And other stats about marketing to women and the She-economy.] How can you market to women without a woman's perspective and input - without women on your team?

"Women often encounter gender-based stereotypes about who is qualified to do what kind of job, which can sometimes persist in subtle ways and must be challenged at every level," writes Richard Branson in Entrepreneur mag.

We tend to clone ourselves. Mike Oeth pointed out that people have a bias to hire someone like themselves (BI article about that). Studies show that people view men and women's resumes -- even when they are exactly the same! - differently!

Nicole Hayward suggested that meritocracy - a data driven model - be used in place of the way we promote and hire today, to take the bias out. The convoluted methods that we use to hire are usually about tripping them up - and we actually hire based on the first impression!

The first step is being aware we are biased. The next step is to do something about it.

When I look at telecom, how many female CEOs are there? Maggie Wilderotter was named Executive Chairman of Frontier Communications in April 2015 after she transitioned from CEO. Frontier has a woman SVP in charge of Legal, Personnel and Customer Care (2 out of 3 being typical roles for women). Larissa Herda was the CEO of tw telecom, who left when Level3 took over.

AT&T only has one female on its executive team. Guess what role? CMO.

Verizon Enterprise: none. However, VZW has a female CTO and CMO and a few other women leaders. The parent company has one woman on the exec team. Marni Walden is executive vice president and president of Product Innovation and New Businesses.

I am not picking on any org, but it is hard to market to women -- and minorities and other segments -- when they are not represented on your executive team.

Women run two of Branson's Virgin companies, Virgin Money and Virgin Holidays. A woman holds the number 2 spot at Virgin Airlines.


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