Case Study: Strategic Women's Initiative Design
The CEO of a high tech, entrepreneurial, financial advisory firm based out of Washington D.C. read the book “Lean In” and wondered if his company needed to have a women’s initiative. The company was experiencing extraordinary growth, yet there was a murmuring of being a “boys’ club”.
Solution: We used our statistically valid, company-wide Women’s Leadership Organization Assessment, designed in partnership with Three Rivers Social Research, to determine what was needed to build an innovative, inclusive profitable business. In the data gathering phase, we included focus groups and individual interviews to include diverse perspectives and test early themes revealed by the data.
Results: We determined that the organization did not need a women’s initiative. In fact, implementing a women’s initiative would have felt offensive to employees and deepened the problem that was developing. At the same time, the CEO saw that there were gender issues simmering that could lead to future problems and limit the fulfillment of the company mission. The organizational analysis revealed that the more effective strategy was to shift the leadership team belief to include female investors, create a female investor archetype and begin including female employees and clients in the most visible roles with the highest respect in the organization. At the same time, we recommended that they shift their professional development classes to meet the needs of women and millennials.