CS: This is an interesting story that has changed many lives, including my own! In 2010, I was facilitating the bi-annual meeting of the private membership I built and ran of approximately 80 global chief HR officers from some of the worlds’ largest and most respected companies. Our topic was on leadership diversity…in a broad sense. These meetings were closed, and because the group did not have competitors in the room, they were comfortable being totally candid. One of our members stood up and said to the rest of the group, “Okay, people. Take a look in the mirror. For all of the good things our companies have done to develop leaders and pipelines, we still have a gender diversity challenge. In the last five years, the needle has not moved one bit to get more women leaders in senior roles. What are we going to do about this?”
They turned to me and asked if I could help address the challenge. I was honored to be part of the expedition, as this was an area I had an extreme passion for. While there is no silver bullet to fix the problem even now, there are things we can – and should – do to accelerate these very talented women executives to the next level. It has been a privilege to lead this initiative and witness the transformative power to rejuvenate and connect executives through an ongoing, supportive, and sustainable network. We are doing more than business enhancement, we are changing executives on a personal level.