Leadership transition support vital for success — yet women receive far less of it than men

Having a formal transition process for incoming leadership positions is crucial in the success of that leader. However, women are receiving less support in their transition at every level, according to a recent leadership transition report by Development Dimensions International.

The number of promotions a leader receives directly correlates to the development opportunities offered by their leaders, for example, receiving leadership skills needed for a new role, getting assigned a formal mentor, or going through a formal assessment to identify strengths and areas that need development.

The study analyzed 2,102 human resource managers and 15,787 leaders globally to understand how leaders navigate their transition into new roles.

Three study findings:

  1. A larger percent of men report being given clear expectations for success in their roles than women. Men are 13 percent more likely to receive leadership skills training than women and are 22 percent more likely to be assigned a formal mentor. 

  2. Women are 19 percent less likely to be formally assessed than men. Additionally, women report higher levels of stress in the transition process.

  3. Women are more likely to fall off the management track before reaching the top. The study suggests organizations should audit their leadership development process with the goal of gender equity at each part of the process. Organizations should measure equity in promotions and in executive succession plans. A lack of transparency in these metrics could be a barrier to women's progress.

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