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Trend: Leadership evades women

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Something big is going on in employers’ attitudes toward leadership development for women.

A 2010 survey of leaders conducted by HR consulting firm Mercer, covering about 540 organizations in a cross-section of industries, 70% did not have a clearly defined strategy or philosophy about developing women into leaders.

A few decades ago, many organizations offered specific programs to help women advance into leadership, says Mercer’s Colleen O’Neill. Now there appears to be less certainty about what works.

Those surveyed said the biggest challenges women face in becoming leaders today are lack of role models, opportunities and support.

Respondents also showed less concern than before about developing women as leaders—most said they were somewhat or not at all concerned—something O’Neill calls “fairly surprising” and “quite a shift.”

Most of those polled said their organizations should pay more attention to the issue.

— Adapted from “Most employers lacking a strategy for developing women leaders.”

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