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What are first steps for employers in scoping out the need for and potential return on, a women’s initiative? Are standalone women's initiatives necessary or can the same end-result be achieved with general leadership initiatives?The most important step to take early and often: how can advancing women help us achieve our short, medium and long term growth goals? There’s no point in creating women’s networking events that do not tie to the goals for an office, region or line of business. One clue: if you are only measuring activity (such as, how many people attended the event) and you have no idea how to measure the actual return on investment for women’s initiative events, the initiative is not driving business results. General leadership programs are important, and certainly need to include both men and women, and to sync with programs specifically for women. After all, men aren’t leaving at the same rate, are they? So the existing programs are already working fairly well for them.
Answers provided by Joanne Cleaver, president of Wilson-Taylor Associates, a consulting firm focused on advancing women in business. Cleaver designed and manages MOVE Projects, which help industries understand how well they are advancing women and how they can do better. See current MOVE Project reports at www.wilson-taylorassoc.com. This Ask An Expert segment is a continuation of Building Operating Management's April cover story, "Women in FM: How women are reaching leadership roles and how companies can help." Find the full article here.
The Business Case for Developing Women In Leadership
Identifying and Remediating Reasons Qualified Women Leave
How Mentoring Should Be Pursued and Structured
First Steps For Scoping Out Women's Initiatives