The 10 Minute Mentor Podcast
Our ongoing series on leadership in the age of disruption.
Episode 5: It’s Not About “Fixing Women”: The Role of Boards and Organizations in Developing the Next Generation of Women
Over the course of her career, Meredith Hellicar, CEO of Merryck & Co. Australia, has served as manager or CEO to more than a dozen public and private companies and is one of a few women to chair an S&P ASX 100 company. Meredith reflects on her journey as a woman leader and discusses the different eras of how women leaders have been developed in the past. She argues that organizations and boards in today’s era need to be intentional in developing the leaders they need to win in this age of disruption.
How have companies approached women in leadership over the last three decades? What has changed for organizations that has made diversity of thought critical for future success? What is the role of the board in developing the next generation of the right leaders to win?
In Meredith’s conversation with host David Reimer, she argues that in today’s world it is not about “Fixing Women” but instead, organizations valuing diversity of thought and women leaders bringing their true, authentic self to work.
03:03: I’ve got this theory that there are three eras. The first era is change the policies and processes. And that’s all been kind of dusted, every organization’s got the right policies and processes. The second era was change the women, fix the women. Let’s have them all mentored and let’s have women’s leadership programs, let’s teach them how to be. And the current era is fix the organization.
06:04: The change for leaders, whether it’s male or female, is have a mentor to help you be the leader you are, to help you navigate in an organization whilst being yourself, which is different from helping you become a chameleon and just becoming one of the clones within the organization.
12:43: If you don’t model the leadership you want in others, it simply won’t exist. And tied up with that is— and don’t look for one single style of how to get things done—Embrace the diversity, build a team around you of difference, of different ways of approaching, push for wonderful constructive conflict between them, give specific and actionable feedback. If you’re not doing it right for everyone, then you’ll certainly not be doing it right for women.
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