An Argument (or Ten) For Starting Early

As CEO of WOMEN Unlimited, Inc, I experience firsthand a variety of training and development “pushbacks” from large corporations. Most often, the concerns circle around investing in talented early-career women.

The hesitancy is understandable. Will early-career women stay with the company long enough to justify the investment in their training and development? Aren’t monies better spent on more seasoned employees? Are newer employees experienced enough to gain the needed insights to benefit the company?

The numbers and the realities do not justify these concerns. Perhaps the best analogy comes from pain management. If you wait too long to take the aspirin, the Tylenol, the Advil or the Aleve it doesn’t do much good because the cycle is too far along. If companies wait too long to start feeding the diversity pipeline, they will be hopelessly back pedaling to catch up.

Here are just a few of the many findings that point to the importance of early career development for both retention of prized employees and for increased profitability:

  • “Top performing organizations now recognize that the earlier potential talent is identified and put into the pipeline, the sooner the entire organization reaps the rewards.”
  • “By addressing the mind-sets holding women back, corporate leaders can reshape the talent pipeline…making it likelier that women will retain their ambition.” McKinsey Quarterly
  • “Fortune 500 Companies with the best records of promoting women…report 18 to 69 percent higher profits than their competitors who have not been as successful promoting women” Corporate Retention of Women Engineers
  • An American Management Association (AMA) survey of 352 HR executives found “Investing in employees’ future is more important than immediate compensation,”
    Eric Rolfe Greenberg, AMA’s Director of Management Studies

At WOMEN Unlimited, we have long recognized the correlation between developing early-career talent and corporate success; and we address the issue through our TEAM [Transforming Emerging and Aspiring Managers] program.

Over the years, our corporate partners and our graduates have cited a variety of benefits resulting from TEAM participation. Most notably:

  • TEAM graduates understand how to leverage their strengths in new and productive ways
  • TEAM allows companies to increase the number of women in their talent pipeline
  • TEAM is effective in increasing retention because (1) women value their company’s investment in them and (2) they see themselves on a promising career path
  • TEAM participants gain insights for utilizing their skills and expertise to make positive (profitable) contributions to their companies
  • TEAM provides high potential talent with external, as well as internal, perspectives to enhance their business acumen
  • TEAM offers an opportunity for sustainable development since it is an on-going process

Click here for full details about why and how TEAM works.

Dr. Rosina L. Racioppi
President & CEO