The lived reality of women and men at work is vastly different. These differences for women show up on a sliding scale, from being spoken over in meetings, to being prevented from rising up the ladder.
Despite being aware of this gap, organisations are barely any closer to closing it. Many of the approaches that organisations have adopted have focused on fixing the women rather than the organisation, asking them to be more demanding, to lean in, to be more like men.
There are women within these organisations who - despite the odds - are thriving, and it is these women who have been our focus for the past few years.
We interviewed women in senior leadership roles. We spoke to women that we believe represent an exception - succeeding without changing themselves to fit the prevailing paradigm. These women aren’t thriving by becoming ‘honorary men,’ rather, they’ve done it on their own terms.
Our intention has been to gain an understanding of their common experiences, to surface patterns that emerge from their stories, and to glean how women can reach the top whilst remaining themselves.
From these conversations, key insights emerged, as well as potential solutions to shift the current reality, solutions that would benefit not just women, but everyone within an organisation, as well as organisations themselves. We supplemented our research with voices from thought leaders in the field. 'How Did She Get There?' (HDSGT) is the result.
In addition to the paper, we created this hub so that our research can continue to grow and evolve.