This may appear to be a minor quibble, however, after having listened to a wide range of discussions over the years, I've come to understand that generic terms are generally used to soften or blunt the discussion not to sharpen it; and that as the number of people included in the group discussion increases, the more diffuse the discussion becomes.
"More people, more words. More word, more bad." The Quotations of Slim Fairview
Case in point: (metaphorically speaking) The fastest way to gender balanced leadership is to appoint [fill in your name] CEO. (Slim Fairview's four rules of communication: Precision; Concision; Enumerate; Specify.)
Some 25 or more years ago, Cosmopolitan ran an article about an ambitious woman who attended a regular weekly meeting at the company where she worked. The boss, a man, frequently turned to a male member of the group for affirmation or an opinion.
One day, this woman decided to arrive early and sit in that man's chair. The understanding being that he would be too polite to ask her to move. The result seemed to have been such that because the boss was so accustomed to looking to that man in that chair for affirmation, that he began looking to that woman for affirmation and opinions. (Which she offered.) The result being that she moved up in the company.
That tactic is not so far-fetched. Also, we are talking about CEO's.
Still, to move forward it is necessary to entertain some marketing strategies in addition to declaiming qualifications. (Many have said that Beta was better than VHS--too, that technology is becoming obsolete. There was a time when I would have only AT&T long distance. (land line) Now, Verizon!!! (Cell phones)
I read in an article that Equal Opportunity was "push" marketing. I had to point out that Equal Opportunity was "demand pull" marketing. (Used effectively by the manufacturers of Lestoil, a cleaning product back in the later 50's and early 60's.)
Too much of the effort to move women into the C-level and Board-level jobs has revolved around advertising and not around marketing. (Marketing: Find a need and fill it.)
While I cannot guarantee a change in the "Old Boy" attitudes of the Old Boys, I can predict that the "Young Boys" will be just as competitive when looking for upper level jobs as the "Young Women" will be. However, in a rapidly changing global economy, marketplace, and what I shall refer to as (in coining a phrase for myself) the "Technosphere" I think I can safely predict that women who compete using the marketing approach and offering a versatile, high tech, high quality, application-- specific product (Their skill-set and experience) will indeed reach the board room--and that will help to move women into the CEO corner office.
copyright (c) 2010 Slim Fairview