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Women Unlimited Blog

Happy Anniversary

April 18th –Today’s the Day

Today marks WOMEN Unlimited Inc.’s 20th Anniversary. Twenty years ago, on a Monday in 1994, we held our first LEAD program. It was attended by 18 high-potential women from 13 Fortune 1000 companies.

Double-Decade Partnerships

Right from that first program back in 1994, we have actively worked with our corporate partners    to create organization-wide support for the learning and development of their program participants. Now as then, we consult on effective selection strategies. We work with the participants’ managers on how they can offer active, on-going support before, during and after the program. We seek out input from our corporate partners and respond to specific needs for creating their diverse pipeline of talented women. In other words, more important than working for our partners, we work with our partners. Continue Reading

20th Anniversary Reflections

April 18th marks WOMEN Unlimited Inc.’s 20th anniversary. That’s when the dream of our founder, Jean Otte, to help talented women reach the top of their corporations became a reality. The first LEAD program was attended by 18 women from AT&T, PSEG, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Volvo to name a few. And today, thanks to our more than 160 corporate partners and over 10,000 talented alumnae, the successes keep racking up. You’ll be hearing more about those successes in the months ahead.

I couldn’t be prouder of this phenomenal organization and of our corporate partners. We have worked together diligently, many from the earliest days of WOMEN Unlimited, to be true partners. Our relationship is an on-going give and take where we adapt and update our programs to align with their corporate needs and with the growth and development of their talented women. But it’s not in my DNA to rest on our laurels. I am excited to look at what still needs to be done and how we can continue to help talented women and their corporations achieve new levels of success. Continue Reading

The Double-Edged Benefits of Intrapreneurs

As someone who works jointly with talented women and their Fortune 1000 companies, I’m always on the lookout for approaches and strategies that benefit both. It’s the focus of WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. partnerships: helping women move forward so both they and their companies reach new levels of success.

Intrapreneurship is definitely a win-win strategy and especially effective for career-focused women. It dovetails perfectly with the changes in attitudes and behaviors they must embrace if they are going to make it to the highest levels of their organizations. Continue Reading

Women Have To Stop Shying Away From Their Own Accomplishments

Most women are passionate cheerleaders for the achievements of those they care about—kids, spouses, parents, siblings, friends, bosses, colleagues, subordinates…with one notable exception…

THEMSELVES.

Women often shy away from getting the word out about their corporate accomplishments. They tend to harbor the misguided expectation that their work will speak for itself. Not likely. And even if it does, will it say the right thing? Will it help push a career to the next level? Or will it reinforce a corporate need to keep someone right where they are? Continue Reading

Mentoring Success – In the Words of Mentees Themselves

In my January blog I highlighted the key finding from my doctoral dissertation, Women’s Mentoring Wisdom. Most notably, that mentees were successful when they acted intentionally and took deliberate steps to prepare for their mentoring relationships, to leverage their mentors’ insights and to transfer what they learned to organizational relationships.

This time, I’d like to share with you some comments from the mentees themselves. One of the advantages of my qualitative research methodology is it allowed me to conduct open-ended interviews with 26 women. They candidly shared with me, how intentional mentoring changed them and changed their careers. Here are a few examples. Continue Reading

77 Cents is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

Since President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on January 28th, there’s been a lot of back and forth on whether women really earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn…how that number was arrived at…and whether it’s the right stat to be bandying around. To my mind, it’s a distractor. No matter how you slice it, women earn less than men (with the highest number I’ve seen at 81 cents).
As someone whose job and passion it is to help women navigate corporate America, I have a bigger concern—a concern that we have to get to the underlying reasons why inequity exists, not just inequity in pay, but inequity in opportunity. And, of course, they’re linked.
To start, both women and their organizations benefit when more women are at the top levels of corporations. Women account for 54% of the workforce, but for only 14% of top positions. The consequences of this disparity are monumentally damaging Continue Reading

Happy New Year! Happy National Mentoring Month!

Happy New Year. I wish you all a year filled with happiness and prosperity. It’s an especially exciting year for us at WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. since it marks our 20th Year Anniversary helping organizations foster the success of their talented women. In the weeks and months ahead you’ll be hearing much more about how we plan to keep upping the ante for our participants’ individual and organizational success.

I’d like to start the year off by honoring the fact that it’s National Mentoring Month. I’ve blogged previously about mentoring, a critical cornerstone of our WOMEN Unlimited programs, but this time I’m going to approach mentoring from a different angle. Continue Reading

Yes! Do It On Purpose

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

I’ve quoted that famous Lewis Carroll line in a previous blog, but it’s worth repeating as we discuss the importance of a purposeful mindset for women with their eye on the C-suite.

What exactly does a “purposeful mindset” mean vis a vis getting ahead?  Predominantly it means: Continue Reading

Gender Bias—A Study in Denial

As I started to write this blog, I thought I would take a look at what Wikipedia had to say about “second generation gender bias.” Guess what?  It isn’t even there. Wow! That was a metaphor for making my point: second generation gender bias is so hidden, so camouflaged, and so denied, not even Wikipedia talks about it.

As I pointed out in a previous blog, often no one knows second generation gender bias is happening – from top management to the women themselves who are being held back from the highest levels of corporate governance by it. Continue Reading

Diversity—It ADDS UP

Not so long ago, a discussion about diversity or gender equality in the workplace would center around social awareness or corporate good citizenship.

…Then the numbers started coming in…

And slowly but surely the conversation shifted from corporate responsibility to corporate profitability.

The findings have been conclusive, extensive and global.  Here are just a few examples from the myriad of evidence supporting the correlation between diversity and improved numbers: Continue Reading