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PWN Global Newsletter Q3 2018

Digital is accelerator of gender balanced leadership: the time is now!


Hello to all our Newsletter readers,

Speaking at the conference for the EU Digital & Innovation Week I was inspired to see so many women, ambitious and eager to lead in the digital era. These women are owning the promise of the digital age, both in and beyond the tech sector. More women should stand up, as the digital era offers unique opportunities to accelerate gender balanced leadership. The time is definitely now!

With the ever-increasing tech gender gap, this statement might sound controversial. After all, around the world some 250 million fewer women than men are online. There is a decrease in women taking up digital related higher education. The share of women working in the digital sector is 3.1 times less than the share of men, with a lower likeliness of getting into senior leadership positions. For example, women are 20% less likely to become leaders in the mobile communication industry. So, how does all of this inspire hope for an accelerated gender balanced digital world?

There are four obvious reasons why women can benefit more explicitly. First, the digitalization of HR is leading to more meritocracy. Be it for recruitment – indeed, robots are much less biased than HR professionals – or talent management – with the increase of continuous feedback and performance indicators – organizations are better enabled to counter the gender and confirmation bias that women so often face on the career ladder.

Secondly, success in the digital age depends on skills that women are typically proven to be stronger in than men. There might be the digital – or tech – capability needed, however inclusive leadership capability is the area that makes the difference. Organizations with strong alignment between customer expectations and their organization’s middle- and back- office are achieving significant positive business impact from digital, compared with those with little alignment. Research shows that women outperform men or are on par in these skills, so enough reason to expect more women stepping up to leadership roles.

Thirdly, women are increasing their digital fluency. The extent to which women are embracing digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective, is helping to close this gender gap and level the playing field for women in the workplace. Particularly social media platforms pose novel ways to overcome barriers and climb the career ladder, e.g. through more effective networking, increased visibility, and new ways of working. The more knowledgeable women are, the more we will see women as leaders.

And finally, with men stepping up increasingly as ‘Manbassadors’ of female leadership, we believe the power of digital will accelerate that potential. We frequently work with our partners to find ways to engage men. Those organizations that manage to do so effectively, see their pipeline of talented women grow and their cultures becoming increasingly inclusive. Those cultures of equality deliver higher overall performance, but perhaps more importantly in this context is the insight from Accenture research that a woman is four times more likely to rise and could earn 51 percent more. Note that a man is also two times more likely to rise and 95 percent of people are satisfied with their career path. In the end, everyone wins.

The rationale is strong: with the right amount of courage, curiosity and perseverance, we believe this digital era will accelerate gender balanced leadership. We look forward to continue to inspire women to pick up the baton and engage men to ease that path. After seeing so many women at the EU Digital & Innovation Week, we definitely feel inspired.  

Want to be part of this exciting journey? If you haven’t done so alread: get in touchjoin a local city networkvolunteer and help us make a difference – you’ll have a great experience, develop yourself and, very importantly, have a lot of fun!

Enjoy your read and make sure to share the news. 

Sonya Richardson, President, PWN Global



Sonya Richardson
PWN Global



Rob Baker
PWN Global

Q3 2018 newsletter introduction note authored by Sonya Richardson


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Thank you to all our PWN Global Corporate Partners:

Mercer, Amazon, Europcar, Lafarge Holcim, INSEAD and OC&C Strategy Consultants


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