#Nextchat: Preparing Women for the Future of Leadership


Rapid advancements in technology and unprecedented demographic transitions continue to radically change the global workplace. The unremitting pace of change is affecting not only how, when and where work gets done, but is also creating the need for a total reskilling of the workforce. What will it take to find success in the new world of work?

Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America, said, in a recent interview for CNBC, that there's a "growing divide between the haves and have-nots of skills, where skills are truly the new currency.”


While this message is important for the entire workforce, it’s even more important for women as they look for career development opportunities and to advance to senior-level roles—especially in industries where inclusion remains difficult to achieve.

How can women “skill up” for the future to help ensure that they not only rise to leadership positions but also thrive in them?

“According to a 2017 survey report by HR People + Strategy and Lee Hecht Harrison, 82 percent of organizations believe advancing women is a critical business issue, yet only 28 percent of HR leaders are satisfied with their organization’s ability to elevate women into leadership roles.

What are the characteristics of organizations that are champions for women? The report identifies these five behaviors: 

  1. Create opportunities to network informally that are inclusive of interests and schedules. 
  2. Give female exposure and profiles to senior leaders and decision-makers.
  3. Provide coaching and feedback that builds business acumen.
  4. Have career and coaching conversations that challenge negative self-perceptions. 
  5. Challenge self and others around unconscious biases. 

In the Fast Company article “Women Leaders Share Moments of 2017 That Redefined Their Roles,” Frankiewicz says, “One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten in my career is to be a collector of new experiences and be open to perspectives that are different to our own. Welcoming the new has never been more important than it is now.”

In her blog post Levelling the Playing Field: How Women Can Win in the Skills Revolution Frankiwicz recommends that “Organizations that are serious about getting more women into leadership roles, and including half the talent in the workforce, must go beyond programs and change culture. Change starts from the top and must be championed by male, as well as female leaders."  

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on February 28 for #Nextchat with special guest Becky Frankiewicz (@beckyfrankly), president of ManpowerGroup North America. We’ll chat about how employers can help women to advance and succeed in the new world of work.


Q1. What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in 2018 and beyond for advancing to senior-level leadership positions?

Q2. What specific skills, competencies and experiences will women need to gain or master to advance and thrive in leadership roles of the future?

Q3. HR plays a major role in removing gender bias and increasing inclusion in recruiting and talent management processes, and in organizational development initiatives. Where are the opportunities for employers to improve these processes going forward? What is your organization doing?

Q4. Some of our most advanced industries, such as technology, are the most deficient when it comes to hiring and advancing women. What advice do you have for women in these industries?

Q5. What is your organization and HR leadership doing to hire, develop and promote women? What specific initiatives or programs have you created?

Q6. As a woman in a position of leadership, what career lessons have you learned along the way that are timeless and relevant in an ever-changing workplace?

Q7. What advice would you give to young women entering the workforce for finding employers that support women and for gaining the skills and experience necessary to rise to executive leadership? 

If you missed this chat you can read all the tweets in the RECAP post here.




The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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