Monday, June 8, 2009

Who will mentor the HR Leaders?

At the 7th WILL Forum meeting held last month in New Delhi – one of the hottest-topics for discussion among the senior women executives at the Open Panel Session with HR leaders – was the fact that corporate HR was often the most significant “barrier” to enhancement of women in leadership positions and creating the appropriate environment for their progress in the organization.

This come as no surprise to many of us – who have been discussing with over 250 senior women executives over the past few years – on sharing best practices for women in the workplace, building an eco-system for nurturing women leaders and creating a level-playing field, and identifying barriers to their career advancement so as to provide them with the mentoring that they may require.

Many women have been able to use the experience-sharing and insights from the WILL Forum meetings to support their case with the corporate HR leader – although not many of them have met with success. Our informal assessments indicate that while corporate HR provides all the correct company policy statements for “gender, diversity, and inclusivity” to the CEOs, customers, and global clients – there is little support forthcoming for the women within the organization.

Upon sharing these insights with senior women colleagues from the U.S. and Europe – it is interesting to find that their experiences with corporate HR is quite similar as well.

There is a unique opportunity for the HR leaders to share the perspectives of the executive women – in a spirit of joint partnership for improving business and society – and we would like to welcome all those who would be interested in attending our meetings and join us in this mission.

Poonam Barua
Founder Convener
Forum for Women in Leadership

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