The increase in the number of women leaders is one of the trends in modern corporate culture. As part of Management Career Week 2020: Autumn at the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University (GSOM SPbU) experts discussed whether there is a phenomenon of female leadership, how to achieve gender balance in the company's management, to overcome stereotypes and what are the prospects for female leadership in the era of digitalization. The meeting was moderated by Marina Latukha, Professor of the Department of Organizational Behavior and Personnel Management, Academic Director of the GSOM Doctoral program.
At the beginning of the discussion, the experts noted that equality, regardless of gender, does not mean the same. “A leader should know how human psychology works, rely on his or her skills and select such tools for his or her team to work effectively,” said Irina Andreeva, CEO and Partner of the KidsOut project. “The more successful role models of women who are engaged in unusual jobs, the faster our society will break stereotypes and inspire women to develop and build a career.”
Work-life balance is a balance between work and other aspects of life. Alena Surinovich, a Certified Coach, a Member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), General Director of OOO Lumene in Russia, is convinced that it is more difficult for women to maintain a balance, because society requires them to be more effective. “We are more adept at multitasking than men and we just have to be like that. And there is also a risk that at some point there will be reverse discrimination against men, it will be more difficult for them to achieve high positions, because many large companies have launched development programs specifically for women. And if we want there to be no gender difference, we need to start with family and upbringing, ” she stressed.
Oleg Glinsky, EY partner in Strategy and Transactions Practice, noted that women often lack self-confidence, while men, on the contrary, immediately start : “In order for a woman to be a leader, she needs to demonstrate masculine skills. And here, the support of not only companies, but also society is very important."
The role of the leader is to move the business forward by motivating the team, involving different people, and competently working with stakeholders. “Success is measured by performance, not gender. I have not seen gender-related patterns. We must take a deeper approach to the issue of our gender diversity,” said Dmitry Kuritsyn, HR Director, Active Cosmetics Division & Professional Products Division L'Oréal.
Experts noted that leaders — men or women — are strong-willed individuals. There are certain stereotypes in society about gender differences, but the business environment and its conditions help everyone to express themselves independently. “Constantly learning, being open to change is what a modern manager needs,” said Kseniia Shumakova, IBM HR Director in Russia and the CIS.
According to experts from the World Economic Forum 2020, Russia ranks 81st in the world in the ranking of global gender equality. If we talk about the economic and political involvement of women, then the Russian Federation is in 32 and 122 positions, in terms of educational level it is on the 24th. In 85 out of 153 countries covered by the EEF 2020 report, over the past 50 years there have been no women in the positions of Head of State, including in Russia. At the same time, among managers and Heads of state bodies in the Russian Federation there are 41.8% of women, Board Members of companies - 7%, Ministers - 12.9%, Parliamentarians - 15.8%.