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And are female managers committed supporters of women?
In my conversations with female managers, I like to ask the women whether they have actually received support over the course of their careers. Many confirm this by saying that it couldn’t be any other way: you need a manager who recognises your potential and pushes you forward, or delegates new tasks and ultimately promotes. And in every new team and / or department it is important to make contacts again and ideally find sponsors. In the best case, it is possible to establish a good relationship with board members and managing directors, who are also successfully following their path and promoting and developing potential. Leadership programs for young talents also help to gain visibility, but such programs are not available everywhere.
Very few women say they made it without a sponsor. They also recognise that further development, with support, would have meant fewer detours and would have been faster. In most cases the sponsors are male. This may be due to the fact that there are fewer women than men in management.
But the question also arises, to what extent do women actually support other women?
In the interviews I have experienced two “extremes”:
On the one hand, there are women for whom, the quota is (unfortunately) a necessary intervention by the legislature in order to correct past mistakes. It is very important to them to support other talented women and to be available to them as mentors – even keeping lists of potential female executives to promote.
Then there are women who do not even want to be associated with the “gender issue”. They neither want to be a quota woman, nor do they want to attract attention through the special promotion of female executives. They are of the opinion that only experience and knowledge should be deciding factors regarding promotion.
Does that coincide with your observations?
How do “quota women” feel in companies? Do we see legislative intervention as an opportunity for all women to bring change in the male-dominated boardrooms?
Meltem Ay, Principal