by Dr. Myriam Sidibe · 03 Jul 2020 · 4 min read
In one of my first work assignments post-graduate school, I was the newbie and assigned to help analyze our division's employee engagement survey results. And to come up with key recommendations we could implement to create a better work community.
While more women are rising to the top of the corporate ladder, a question persists: Why do female CEOs still comprise such a small percentage of the highest leadership positions? Despite the fact that research underscores women's capabilities as corporate leaders and their positive effects on organizations.
You have heard all of the statistics before. There are not enough women at the top, not as the CEO, not at the Board table, and not in the C-Suite. The glass ceiling sometimes seems like a concrete ceiling.
The Emotional Process Helping Women Leaders Thrive
Have you ever wanted to make a major career change? I know the feeling.
Our brand all started because of our community. Each and every product and formula has been created alongside our co-creators. They help guide us to figure out what is missing from the market and help outline what people actually use. That's why our relationship with our community is so important to us at Alleyoop, they helped build our company in more ways than they may realize.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were resistant to implementing remote work for a variety of reasons such as concerns about technology and infrastructure, a lack of trust that employees would get their jobs done, the longstanding (and understandable) bias in favor of face-to-face interactions, or some combination of these factors. However, not only has the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to switch to remote work despite their reservations, it's clear at this point that it's going to be very hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Remote work is here to stay, at least partially. By analyzing the pros and cons of remote work we've witnessed over the past few months, we can apply various insights towards maximizing its benefits while minimizing the downsides.
My career has always been deeply rooted in community. I'm the Cofounder and CEO of Makelab, a Brooklyn-based 3D printing company. I also sit on the board of Women in 3D Printing, an organization on a mission to close the gender gap in additive manufacturing. In the simplest of terms: the 3D printing industry is not diverse. Currently, women make up 10% or less of the industry. A significant part of the reason I've been able to establish a successful company is that I've developed and magnified my voice in a space with very few women.
From Facebook ad boycotts, alignment with #BlackLivesMatter, to ditching names like Aunt Jemima: social activism is the latest must-have for brands. But should you jump on the bandwagon? And how do you make the shift without getting labeled as inauthentic, especially if your brand has never talked about these issues before?
For many Black professionals, it's an unspoken rule never to discuss race or politics at work. But the murder of George Floyd has opened the floodgates. Suddenly, race is dominating conversations. Black people are being bombarded with questions. They're publicly sharing their pain at company town halls and team meetings, leading to more exhaustion.Race is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially in "mixed company." That's why my market research team at Driven to Succeed sponsored two closed-door, tell-all Community Dialogues via Zoom to talk about race—one with Black professionals and the other with white professionals, from Director to C-Suite plus a few entrepreneurs. Our goal was to build more empathy and understanding and to take steps toward healing to help end institutional racism. There were no right or wrong answers. Just an honest dialogue and diversity of opinions.