Fielding Graduate University President Katrina Rogers spoke this morning to several dozen women from the Kellogg Corporation as part of International Women’s Day/Month.
Like Fielding, Kellogg is a signatory to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles. During the webinar for Kellogg’s Women in Procurement team, Dr. Rogers shared the work and goals of Fielding’s Worldwide Network for Gender Empowerment, noting that women’s empowerment is gender empowerment; men and women have to understand gender disparity and seek parity, working as allies.
She also highlighted fascinating and relevant research by Fielding students, demonstrating that women leaders often feel silenced in organizational settings, African-American women often use transformational leadership to enact change, and women are more likely to define power in multi-dimensional ways. Other studies revealed that women’s participative and collective orientations make them more democratic and inclusive leaders, and that women tend to score higher on accountability and self-directed decision making.
The audience was especially interested in the “softer power” concept explored in student research, and Dr. Rogers offered some practical ways that they can help empower women at work:
- Help women achieve their ambitions by mentoring them.
- Challenge conscious and unconscious bias by being a role model.
- Call for gender-balanced leadership, such as asking for gender balance in teams and key decisions. Research shows this leads to better decision making.
- Value everyone’s contributions equally, which may mean calling on someone who’s silent. Research shows that teams are more effective when everyone talks.
- Create inclusive, flexible cultures—starting within your own sphere of influence.
- Share resources, such as sending around relevant articles like this one: The Business Benefits of Gender Diversity