RenewYou Means Business

Developing Talent for Your Female Management Pipeline

Do you have an untapped pool of talent in your business or organisation?

The statistics are clear:  women in senior posts alongside the men mean a thriving organisation.

We understand that for many organisations knowing it is one thing – actually doing something effective about it doesn’t seem so straightforward. It’s hard sometimes to know just where to start and it’s not easy releasing staff for time consuming courses.

Changing People has a very simple and cost effective solution; it’s our one day, tried and tested course, RenewYou which you can have delivered on your premises. It can be used as an additional day as part of an established corporate strategy re gender balance, or as an introductory taster.

Companies that have a higher proportion of women in executive roles tend to report stronger financial results. Opening up opportunities for women also creates a compound cultural benefit that is highly conducive to positive performance.

“By taking the lead on women’s progression, moving it from a diversity initiative to a core business priority, they are at the forefront of driving change to create fairer and more inclusive workplaces.”
Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now at Business in the Community.

Survey after survey identifies a lack of confidence amongst women holding them back from top positions. The reasons are many and various and forward thinking organisations with a strong commitment to equality and diversity, have used Changing People to help address this problem and maximise the potential of all their workforce. Everyone wins when a company is flourishing by enabling the talents of all its workforce to shine.

Forward thinking organisations have a CEO led gender balance  strategy permeating all strata of business (see this from Sky).  RenewYou does not replace your existing initiatives, it enhances them. It gives participants a boost of energy and enthusiasm encouraging more women to seek positions in management. Equally, if you’ve yet to have specific gender equality initiatives in line with Government recommendations, RenewYou is a good place to start.

Sometimes it’s difficult to justify women only courses in an organisation, however, the statistics are clear. For every 20 executives in the UK only one will be female. The topic of lack of women on boards has been centre stage of late, with the UK Government talking loudly about introducing mandatory quotas if the status quo remains. Academic organisations are also being encouraged to extend their efforts with the Athena Swan charter mark. Gender equality is good for everyone.

Yet companies can’t suddenly find women ready and willing to become board members, or apply for promotion; the process needs to begin early on in the organisation. Which is where RenewYou comes in.

Uniquely, RenewYou is suitable for any woman, at any level in your organisation and is designed to motivate women to give time and thought to their career. It addresses very directly the issue of lack of confidence, encourages self belief and motivates women to aim high. Evidence from managers who have sent staff, is that the women return more motivated and more inclined to address issues from a ‘can do’ perspective, rather than grumbling, and many have actively pursued promotion and further qualifications.

(See here for a short post on Jane Weaver, a RenewYou champion, and CEO of her own logistics company, who went on to win a national Everywoman award.)

RenewYou is a tried and trusted one day  (yes, staff only need to be away from their desks for one day) course which can be used within organisations working to increase participation of trainers manual and journalwomen at a senior level. The course is one single power packed day encouraging participants to think for themselves and to progress their careers. To keep the momentum flowing each participant also receives a 300 page journal, which is by their side encouraging and motivating them for a full year post course.

“This will be one of the few *training documents I will read from cover to cover.” *The RenewYou Journal

Northamptonshire Police, participant.

Two testimonials:

RenewYou was an important first step for our female junior management staff to develop a self-belief in their management potential and encourage this significant group of staff to aim higher. It allowed us to encourage specific team building strengths that women have a natural bias towards such as collaboration, empathy and flexibility.
The development day has improved team working and communication and it had an immediate and positive effect on the engagement and motivation of the women who attended. Overall, there was a 40% average increase in feelings of self confidence and empowerment. The day was perfectly pitched for the group we had organised – one of the attendees successfully applied for a promotion within a few months of participating on the course and another was actively pursing additional qualifications and training.”

Divisional General Manager, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

In a local authority it can be difficult for women to evaluate their positions and careers because the assumption is we’re all equal here. RenewYou has been really helpful in encouraging women to progress in the organisation. It gives them the opportunity to consider why they are where they are, to look at the opportunities available to them (inside and outside the council) and make positive plans and choices about the future. RenewYou participants have changed jobs, applied for promotion, undertaken further training, achieved qualifications. The council has got a good return on its investment in RenewYou which is seen as part of a programme which supports transformation of the organisation – including improved participation and people who contribute positively to the success of the council.

L & D Manager
Kim Holmes

Using RenewYou Within Your Organisation

There are several options open to you which can all be tailored to meet your specific requirements:

  • You can send one member or many members of staff on any of the RenewYou courses around the country (see dates and places here).
  • You can arrange for one of our RenewYou licensed trainers to deliver a course in house (All licensed trainers are listed here.)
  • You can have a member of your training department licensed. (See here for licensing events around the UK.)
  • You can have all the women in your training department licensed on your own premises, run courses in house, and open them to other organisations if you wish. (Contact Changing People)
  • You can have a select band of ‘gender equality champions’ trained personally by Jane C Woods (author of RenewYou) in house. They need not be trainers already but have an interest in the project and good communication skills. (Contact Changing People)
  • You can have the gold standard package which includes the above, plus training delivered by Jane, along with regular updates, supervision and development of in house trainers, and coaching of RenewYou participants post course. This is especially useful within organisations looking to make a significant difference within a relatively short space of time. We only work with one organisation at a time at this level of support.
  • You can also commission Jane to talk with members of staff, or address a ‘gender equality initiative group’ (Our advice would be not to call is a women’s group as this could be counter productive to producing effective change.)

Ann Francke, CEO Chartered Institute of Management: “lack of a strong talent pipeline has to change and fast. Allowing these types of gender inequalities to continue is precisely the kind of bad management that we need to stamp out.”

The Business Case for Gender Balance
(From an IBM Smarter Workforce Institute report, authored by Dr Ines Wichert)

If you need evidence that gender balance is good for business, (and not just for winning awards) this extract from the IBM report should be useful.

Executive Summary
While the overall number of women on the boards of the UK’s most successful companies is rising, the number of women being promoted into executive roles has hardly changed. Today, just one in 20 executives in the FTSE 100 is female.

This report argues that companies can and should do more to encourage and support women’s career progression. It presents a business case of compelling reasons why organizations should resolve the gender imbalance that exists in so many leadership teams. The business case is structured into four quadrants:

• Organizational Performance: Companies that have a higher proportion of women in executive roles tend to report stronger financial results. Opening up opportunities for women also creates a compound cultural benefit that is highly conducive to positive performance.

• Growth and Innovation: Today’s more open and collaborative organizations require a different style of management. Women are more likely to adopt the specific behaviors that are needed to foster a collaborative climate. Furthermore, complementary perspectives of a diverse workforce help to foster new ideas.

• Customer Orientation: The worldwide growth of the “female economy” is a significant opportunity for every business. But to capitalize on its potential, companies need to be able to see the world through a woman’s eyes. Having senior women in positions of influence can help organizations better address the needs of female customers.

• Internal Processes: Eleven factors will ultimately determine whether or not a woman will progress to a senior management position. The most important factors are critical job assignments, networking, and proactive personal action. Organizations should actively seek to support women in these key areas.

Our analysis of these four quadrants shows that resolving gender imbalance is more than just a social issue. It should be a key strategic priority as it impacts not only the performance of the organization, but also its reputation as a world-class employer.

This report concludes that every organization would benefit from having a better balance of men and women in senior management positions. Practical recommendations are provided to achieve this aim. One clear advantage is that this could create more potential candidates for those companies that want to elevate women into the boardroom. On top of that, having the complementary perspectives and leadership styles of men and women can open up an organization to new ideas and improve its ability to engage with customers. The simple truth is that better balance tends to make better business sense.

If you’d like the full copy of this report, please contact me.

The EU report on Women on Boards, a progress update of February 2015 made  the following recommendations to companies:

The report makes five evidence-based recommendations, which should be taken into account as the future policy landscape regarding women in decision-making at the EU level and the national level is determined:

  • Binding measures must apply to both executive and non-executive boards
  • Further action is needed to increase proportion of female CEOs
  • Effective measures require regular monitoring and intermediary targets
  • Measures must be enforced with firm sanctions
  • Quotas must be introduced as part of a comprehensive policy package that seeks to address the fundamental causes of women’s under-representation in economic decision-making.

Forward thinking companies know they need to tackle this issue from the grass roots up.

Another useful resource for organisations  implementing gender equality is Avivah Wittenburg-Cox’s book, How Women Mean Business. Jane interviewed Avivah on her work which you can read here.

Avivah has some pithy, sensible advice for organisations. Here’s a useful extract:

Four Stages

The book takes the reader comprehensively through 4 stages to achieve a more representative gender balance in business. The four stages are:

Audit – looking at the actual statistics in an organisation, benchmarking, and talking to employees, women and men.

Awareness ­– ensuring top managers truly understand the case for gender balance and the opportunities it presents them.

Alignment – training requirements, the talent in the organisation.

Sustain – how you maintain the change and measure progress.

Here’s an extract from a section on inviting senior managers to a first meeting on achieving gender balance:

Avoid invitations signed by HR, Diversity, or a women’s association. That would limit and label participant’s view of the session before they even enter the room.

The invitation should introduce gender balance as a strategic lever for achieving other 21st century change initiatives.

Be careful………[not to call it] something like ‘Gender Training’ sessions generating endless jokes before the session starts. Instead, describe the session as a strategic debate, not as a training or awareness workshop. The invitation must start with the key messages, vocabulary, and positioning of the effort. That way, it will control how the issue is perceived, and what response it prompts.”

Catalyst is an American organisation dedicated to evidence based change in the workplace.This blog post from the CEO of Catalyst will give you a good idea of what they do. The website is a very useful resource if you’re thinking about implementing a strategy in your organisation.

If you’d like to find out how RenewYou can help you create a workforce fit for the future, email, or call 01761 438749.

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