Women need to be afforded the chance to actively communicate their career aspirations at work through '360 degree' transparent conversations, according to workplace consultants.
Speaking to HC, managing partner at Peter Berry Consultancy (PBC), Shayne Nealon, said harnessing the potential of women who return to work after maternity or extended leave is a shared responsibility, and can only be done by having the right conversations.
According to PBC, part of the problem behind getting women into leadership roles rests in the common mindset held by female employees, that if they work hard and do a good job then they'll get noticed and promoted - however, PBC believes "it's very much a situation where words speak louder than actions".
As men are commonly more vocal about their career aspirations, Nealon said it's important for employers not to make assumptions, and to maintain communication about any leadership aspirations.
She said that timing is a key factor behind making leadership decisions, and from this perspective it is integral for employers to discuss desirable timelines with people resuming their roles or taking on new ones.
Having up-to-date information about employee aspirations allows HR to maintain the candidate on their 'talent radar', Nealon commented.
Additionally, when female employees indicate they would be interested in future leadership roles, Nealon said it is highly important to ensure they are given broad exposure across a number of business roles.
"We know that giving exposure broadly in the business is very important so they don't get pigeon holed, and from a talent perspective, depth of experiences is highly important when cultivating leaders," Nealon added.
Thanks to HCA Mag / HC Online / Human Capital / Key Media Pty Ltd