Convenience Store News

FEB 2017

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72 Convenience Store News | FEBRUARY 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM NEW Horizons EXPERT'S VIEW women in the company, and in specific work teams or divisions? What's the ratio of men to women at specific job levels? • Create innovative work practices that target ste- reotypic bias. Cultures that favor authoritative and hierarchical leadership styles are often less welcoming of women and/or supportive of their career goals. Take a few minutes and ask yourself: When you think about a woman leader, what qualities does she have? What are her strengths? Chances are your per- ceptions of what makes "a good woman leader" are similar to those of your colleagues. And that's a problem. Because the way you think about effective leadership is likely based on gender ste- reotyping, which can derail women's career goals; keep men and women from being their strongest, authentic selves at work; and, certainly, depress business results. Wiping out stereotypes — the first step in work- place transformation — starts with you. CSN Nancy Krawczyk is vice president, marketing and corporate partnerships for the Network of Executive Women, Retail and Consumer Goods, a learning and leadership community representing 10,000 members, 950 companies, more than 100 corporate partners and 20 regional groups in the United States and Canada. Learn more at Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News. facets of leadership: 1. Executive presence — Employees respond more favorably to women who display poise and authenticity and less favorably to those who "command respect." 2. Self-confidence — Women who display confidence through actions are more appreciated than those who talk about their accomplishments. 3. Emotional control — Women leaders are expected to share their feelings or risk seeming "cold." 4. Entrepreneurship — Men are praised for taking big risks, while women are expected to offer less-risky (and more) options. 5. Coaching & mentoring — Women leaders who create development plans are seen as bossy. Those who involve employees in planning and exploration aren't. 6. Monitoring direct reports' performance — Daily progress checks will label a woman as a micromanager. Looking at overall performance is seen as more effective. 7. Planning & organizing — When men make small decisions to yield a larger plan, they're viewed as leaders. When women use the same strategy, they're seen as dictatorial. Facing steadfast, but erroneous, stereotypes of what makes an effective leader, many women are pushed to continually recalibrate their behavior. As one Catalyst report put it, women are "damned if you do, doomed if you don't." Catalyst is a nonprof- it organization with a mission to expand opportuni- ties for women and business. WHAT COMPANIES CAN DO So, what can companies do to chip away at these ste- reotypes so that they are able to leverage the best tal- ent — male or female — in leadership roles? I agree with many of Catalyst's recommendations: • Provide training that raises awareness of the effects of stereotypic perceptions. Include informa- tion on recognizing bias, inconsistencies between company values and actual behavior, and the causes and detrimental effects of gender inequal- ity at work. Look at your formal evaluations. Are they based on well-defined criteria? If not, gender bias can creep in. • Assess the workplace and identify ways women are at risk of bias. What is the ratio of men to Wiping out stereotypes — the first step in work- place transformation — starts with you.

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