Engage them or lose them: holding on to your female leaders

By Harriet Croxton

DiversityModern day organisations are playing at Diversity; unconscious biases exist without organisations recognising it and organisations are losing talented women from the business before they can reach their full potential. These were just some of the thoughts shared during our Think Tank Dinner held recently in London.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, has put the topic of Women in Leadership firmly back on the mainstream agenda. Her brand of feminism is much debated, but essentially she suggests that women, driven by gender stereotypes to be submissive, are missing out on workplace success due to misplaced insecurity, passivity and docility.

We hosted a Think Tank Dinner where we bought together female leaders working in the area of HR and Learning and Development to discuss the role of Women in Leadership. We aimed to understand the issues they face and how we, as HR and L&D professionals, can better support them.

The dinner was hosted under Chatham House rules and as such, does not reveal the participating individuals or organisations specifically. Contributing to the debate were representatives from the Banking and Finance, Leisure, Food and Beverage, Defence and Professional Services sectors.

This is what they had to say.

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Earthquake warnings for L&D at OEB2015

By Garry Hearn

The Learning Blog welcomes guest blogger Garry Hearn, Divisional Director at Defence Academy of the UK. Garry visited the conference and exhibition formerly known as Online Educa recently, and sends us this report about the seismic changes he saw evidence of there that are shaking L&D.

OEB2015 event, photographed with a fish-eye lensMany readers will recall the last phase of the Cold War in Berlin – when the days of two German states, and a city bisected by a wall, were coming to a close. At that period in the late 1980s the old DDR was experiencing tensions resulting from at least three socio-political movements, analogous to tectonic plates on the move. These moving plates were the masses, the State, and a popular movement for change. Something similar (though on a less momentous historical scale, perhaps) could be sensed at OEB20015 this year; tectonic plates on the move, territorial maps about to be redrawn.

And I was also reminded of the film Good Bye Berlin, about the coming down of the wall and its aftermath … but more of that later.

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How to use L-books for learning – video

By John Helmer

Used within a well designed digital learning programme, an L-book is a powerful tool for communicating new ideas, concepts and procedures; for learning, for reflection, and as a facilitator of important conversations.

In essence, L-books are quite an old idea – the learning journal – afforded a new lease of life by technology. But interactive technology gives a whole new twist, allowing the use of video, quizzes, reflective exercises and learning content.

We’ve captured the thoughts of one of our top learning designers on L-books for learning. In this video interview, Steve George tells you how to use L-books, the benefits they can bring to your organisation, and why learners love them!

Screengrab of video interview about L-books for learning

Women in learning: get your geek on!

By Ewa Jankowska

The Learning Blog welcomes a guest blogger, Ewa Jankowska from Lumesse Poland, posting on themes that we will be covering over the coming weeks as we share insights from our recent Thought Leadership Dinner on Women in Learning.

Business woman working at her computer

A programmer friend recently told me that men are bound to be better developers, simply because there are more of them. At first I recoiled inside, then looked around at our colleagues. Out of the other 10 in the room all were men. So who am I to argue with statistics that say only 9% of women are programmers?

But wait a minute! How can I – or anyone – believe it to be true that men are better programmers than women? Where do these stereotypes come from? Just because there are more men in this role doesn’t mean they are better. There is also no scientific evidence to support the tired thinking about the different abilities of men and women. In fact, it’s the opposite: scientists have said there is no difference between the male and female brain.

The proof? Researchers at the University of Wisconsin studied young people of both sexes from 86 countries and found that girls perform better in science subjects in countries where there is greater equality (read the report here). In addition, girls today perform better in mathematics than at any other time in history. If the arguments for men having superior ability in science subjects were linked to gender then no change would be noticeable, but that clearly isn’t the case.

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