The conversation about the representation and advancement of women into more senior roles has grown particularly intense, as the gender make-up of the senior suite has proved difficult to change. Today’s companies cannot afford to wait in finding solutions. Acquiring female talent is one solution however the challenge is more systemic: what is it about many workplace cultures that slows women’s progress towards the leadership ranks? And where can we begin to address it?

Utilizing her ten years of consulting to Fortune 500 companies on diversity and inclusion, as well as the latest research and corporate best practices, Kate shares a core message about the power of advocacy and the role each of us needs to play in creating real organizational change. For women, this means understanding and successfully navigating workplace realities such as unconscious bias, and learning creative ways to advocate for an environment that better enables all women to be welcomed, valued, respected, and heard so they can do their best work. Even more critical, however, is the role of male allies in this change. The
myriad of issues that hold women back from bringing their full selves to work-from bringing their best contributions to growing their careers-simply remain a lesser priority for the majority of decision-makers who have not walked in their shoes.

Given the lack of representation of senior women decision-makers, we will be waiting a long time to see executive leadership reflecting the diversity of today’s society. As male leaders make up the majority of senior leadership, they have a critical opportunity to leverage their platform and position to educate their peers in leadership about the opportunities and benefits of a more inclusive workplace for women, and all kinds of diverse talent. They have a unique opportunity to utilize their voice and their social capital to drive inclusive behaviours, and to address institutional barriers that may be blocking progress.