Boosting female leadership in top jobs may mean asking nobody to apply

The best way to narrow the gender leadership gap may be to change the promotion process altogether instead of forcing women to change their tactics, according to a new study reported by Bloomberg April 5.

Often, in order to receive a promotion, the candidate must put themselves forward, requiring the confidence to do so. Many women undervalue their own skills and achievements, or fear coming across as too assertive, bossy or aggressive, Lata Gangadharan, PhD, an author of the study, told Bloomberg. Others are also busy caregiving outside of work, meaning they lack the time to apply for a promotion.

A group of Australian researchers studied how an opt-out instead of opt-in promotion policy affects gender balance of top jobs. Participants in the experiment were tested on their work and the highest performing workers were automatically upgraded to leadership roles. Under the opt-out policy, the management gender gap narrowed. In the traditional opt-in policy control group, female top-performers didn't put themselves forward for leadership positions.

"It's a policy that basically brings a better pool of candidates for managers to choose from," said Dr. Gangadharan. "It's really good for the future of organizations."

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Learning Opportunities

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars