OB330/OB331 Leadership Fellows: Gender, Minorities & Culture

Professor: Brian Lowery, Ricki Frankel and Hugh Keelan

Gender, Minorities & Culture

Hymowitz, Carol. 2017. White Men Can Change at Rockwell Automation. Bloomberg Businessweek. 5/1/2017, Issue 4520, 24-25

The article discusses diversification in the workforce at the industrial automation and software company Rockwell Automation. Topics include the coaching of white male employees and executives to understand and change attitudes and behaviors that make women and minorities feel unwelcome, an increase in Rockwell's hiring and retention of women and minority engineers and managers, and the impact of diversity among Rockwell's workforce on the company's growth according to chief executive officer Blake Moret.

Laff, Michael. 2009. The Guiding Hand: Mentoring Women. T+D, 63(9):32-35

Despite the need for more women to serve as mentors, the process of building a rapport is not nearly as fluid for them as it is for men. Observers point out that the landscape is changing, albeit slowly, as men are volunteering in greater numbers. There is little debate, however, that men seek and offer to mentor more readily, whereas women still need to be found and encouraged. The benefits of mentoring are highly intangible and thus difficult to measure in a results-obsessed business culture. But women who benefited from a mentor's guidance say it helped them advance their career, especially when coming of age as the sole female in a testosterone-dominated industry. There is no blueprint for designing a mentorship program for women, but analysts agree on the necessary ingredients. The protégé needs to take the initiative to identify issues for discussion and not expect the mentor to produce a curriculum. For individuals who are unable to find a mentor independently, the consensus is that institutional guidance is necessary to ensure that meetings continue. Most analysts believe that structured mentoring is the preferred route over an informal program, because advisory relationships between men and women do not develop organically.

Leimon, Averil. 2011. What happened to the Women? Training Journal, June 2011, 66-70

The article discusses the significance of coaching female employee. It states that the coaching of female employee has help them to stay back in the organization. According to a research, the presence and contribution of senior women have benefited the firm. Further it mentions the requirements that coaches must acquired for the development of female employee.

Lessons From Beyond the Glass Ceiling. Coaching at Work, Jul/Aug 2009, 4(4):12-13

The article discusses important issues that women bring to and which emerge during coaching. It cites the problems of women in terms of job management including transition into new roles and their vulnerability to stress as well as the development of self-confidence. Other coaching areas tackled are relationship management, finding an influencing style, development of organizational skill, managing home and/or family with work role, leadership, career management, ability to self assert, and self awareness.

Ludeman, Kate & Eddie Erlandson, Eddie. 2004. Coaching the Alpha Male. Harvard Business Review, 82(5):58-67

Highly intelligent, confident, and successful, alpha males represent about 70% of all senior executives. Natural leaders, they willingly take on levels of responsibility most rational people would find overwhelming. But many of their quintessential strengths can also make alphas difficult to work with. Their self-confidence can appear domineering. Their high expectations can make them excessively critical. Their unemotional style can keep them from inspiring their teams. That's why alphas need coaching to broaden their interpersonal tool kits while preserving their strengths. Drawing from their experience coaching more than 1,000 senior executives, the authors outline an approach tailored specifically for the alpha. Coaches get the alpha's attention by inundating him with data from 360-degree feedback presented in ways he will find compelling--both hardboiled metrics and vivid verbatim comments from colleagues about his strengths and weaknesses. A 360-degree assessment is a wake-up call for most alphas, providing undeniable proof that their behavior doesn't work nearly as well as they think it does. That paves the way for a genuine commitment to change. In order to change, the alpha must venture into unfamiliar--and often uncomfortable--psychological territory. He must admit vulnerability, accept accountability not just for his own work but for others', connect with his underlying emotions, learn to motivate through a balance of criticism and validation, and become aware of unproductive behavior patterns. The goal of executive coaching is not simply to treat the alpha as an individual problem but to improve the entire team dynamic. Initial success creates an incentive to persevere, and the virtuous cycle reverberates throughout the entire organization.

Perks, Jonathan. 2007. Should Coaches Change Style for Men and Women? People Management, 13(11):46

The article highlights the author's views on the need to change coaching strategy for men and women employees. He cited the similarities and differences between men and women in terms of emotional intelligence, competencies and self-regard. He claimed that the prevalence of women in executive coaching can be associated with their ability to establish rapport easily. The author argued that there is no generic coaching approach.

Peterson, David B. 2007. Executive Coaching in a Cross-Cultural Context. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59(4):261-271

Many executive coaches today find themselves working with leaders from a variety of cultural backgrounds, as well as coaching leaders who work with culturally diverse teams. It is therefore increasingly important that coaches understand the role of culture in their work. This article begins with an overview of several ways that culture plays a role in coaching, including an exploration of how assumptions about culture can positively or negatively impact a coach's approach and their ultimate success with a given individual. A second section provides three general principles for coaching across cultures, emphasizing the importance of using cross-cultural knowledge as a way to customize coaching to each person. The third section focuses on five essential conditions for learning--insight, motivating, capabilities, real-world practice, and accountability--and how cultural differences can influence various steps in the coaching process. A variety of examples for each condition highlight specific tools and techniques that coaches can use.

Sparrow, Stephanie. 2006. The Gender Gap. Training & Coaching Today, 22-23

The article highlights the impact of gender differences on coaching. Jenny Daisley, CEO of Springboard personal development consultancy, believes that it is appropriate to have separate coaching for women and men. Women tends to acknowledge the emotional effect of being a leader than men, according to Career Matters founder Carole Pemberton.

Thomas, David A. 2001. The Truth About Mentoring Minorities: Race Matters. Harvard Business Review, 79(4):98-107

The article reports on a study of career progression in the United States which found that minority protégés should be mentored differently than their white counterparts. Whites and minorities follow distinct patterns of advancement, with whites entering the fast track earlier. People of color who advance the furthest have a network of mentors and corporate sponsors to encourage their professional development. Minorities who reached a plateau in their careers had received basic instructional mentoring. There are obstacles in cross-race mentoring relationships that can be managed from a developmental perspective. The ideal system would integrate opportunity, development, and diversity into management practices and human resource systems.

Tyler, Kathryn. 2007. Cross-Cultural Connections. HRMagazine, 52(10):77-83

This article explains that although cross-cultural and cross-gender mentoring programs have been around for years, many companies in the U.S. are rejuvenating them in light of the changing demographics of their workforces. The Hispanic population is now the largest minority in the country. Mentoring programs that target minority employee groups face hurdles such as how to bridge the gaps between cultures. It suggests that companies build a business case on mentoring programs for minorities.