NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
At The Wall Street Journal’s recent Women in the Economy Conference, leading female business executives from around the world gathered to discuss women in business and identify action items for the future. Jeanine Prime, PhD, Vice President of Research for Catalyst.org was surprised by comments made by former Fortune 500 CEO Jack Welch who addressed the audience by telling them their list of action items were all wrong. Prime explains on the Catalyst blog:
“He began by telling us quite candidly that we’d wasted our time and that we’d been focusing on all the wrong things. He said that if women really wanted to get ahead, they needed to simply focus on one thing: performance. He advised that women should over-deliver. We were all stunned into silence until one woman called out that she was hoping to regain consciousness soon!
“Welch’s comments were indeed sobering. I began to think about how too many women and men, like Welch and those aspiring to be like him, held the view that in business and in life we all get exactly what we deserve—that we are all rewarded in a manner commensurate with our talents. Even though people often claim, as Mr. Welch did, that performance is the key to advancement, it’s difficult to observe the inequities that abound in business, our society, and the world at large, and not argue that in fact it is who you know that gets you ahead, not necessarily what you know, as Catalyst research shows.
“But it can be hard for those of us at the top of the hierarchy to admit that we haven’t gotten there all on our own steam—especially when we’ve worked hard to advance. Nonetheless, acknowledging these group-based advantages and letting go of the myth of meritocracy is critical if we can ever hope to address gender and racial gaps in our society. In fact, research shows that biases actually flourish in workplaces that tout the idea of meritocracy.”
Read the Full Story: Why We Need to Bust the Myth of Meritocracy via www.catalyst.org