Tammy Erickson Participates in Prestigious Wall Street Journal Women in the Economy Task Force
Three-day event focused on Boosting Female Participation in Business, WorldwideJune 25, 2012 - Palm Beach, Fla – Tammy Erickson, founder and CEO of Tammy Erickson Associates, recently joined over 200 participants invited to the Wall Street Journal’s Task Force for Women in the Economy to discuss and develop approaches that enable companies to maximize the potential of women in the workforce. The three-day conference, reported in a special section of the Wall Street Journal, focused on producing directives for C-suite executives to increase the numbers of women in companies’ senior ranks.
“As a subject matter expert for one of the six task force groups at the conference in Palm Beach, I worked with a select group of leaders to develop a tool kit that addresses this important economic issue: making better use of female talent to promote economic growth and competitiveness in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Erickson. She added that the 2012 Task Force was designed to build upon the 2011 forum recommendations and identify obstacles that keep women from participating fully in the economy and maximizing their potential in the workforce.
In a Wall Street Journal article that reviewed the conference results, writer Sue Shellenbarger noted that a study by McKinsey & Company revealed that when senior executives at 60 big companies were asked why they are trying to advance women, “almost nine in 10 CEOs agreed that tapping female talent is important to ’getting the best brains‘ and competing in markets where women now make most of the purchasing decisions.”
Erickson led a group that concentrated on “The Bottom Line: Owning Profit,” which looked at P&L Leadership and ways that companies should remove obstacles and encourage women to take on revenue-generating roles and P&L management.
“In an effort to dig deep into the reasons women may not be maximizing opportunities in the financial management of companies the group was asked to look at why many women may opt out of executive roles,” Erickson said. “I also probed the group to come up with suggestions for establishing different corporate requirements of and characteristics for these roles to make them more attractive to a wider range of talent.”
According to Erickson who was recently named, for the second time, to the Thinkers50, a premier biennial ranking of global business thinkers, the task force members concluded that women should take on the challenge of corporate financial management and companies should assess results transparently.
Erickson said that her group recommendations included:
- Measure by Performance: Create performance metrics that eliminate gender bias. Set clear roles and responsibilities for every job.
- Make Succession Transparent: Post jobs regularly and ensure a diverse candidate slate. Hold regular succession planning reviews and make managers accountable.
- Offer a Range of Roles: Equip employees to run profit-and-loss operations by offering a range of roles. Embrace individual styles of leadership.
- Articulate the Business Case: Make clear why advancing women leaders will improve the bottom line. Hold leaders accountable for placing women in P&L roles.
Overall the Wall Street Journal reported that the working groups at the conference delivered guidelines for companies on increasing profitability, developing professional potential, facilitating work-life balance and enhancing Board governance, all by creating a productive environment for advancing women. After hearing from experts in a range of fields and reviewing the original research provided by McKinsey & Company exclusively for the Task Force, the members developed “innovative tools for organizations and individuals to use in removing obstacles to women and minorities.”
According to report, the tools shared “a goal of improving competitiveness—not by giving women special career tracks or entitlements, but by creating a fairer meritocracy”.
“Underpinning all the groups’ work was a sharp focus on identifying high-potential employees early, rewarding performance, setting rigorous goals and metrics and holding leaders accountable,” the report said.
For additional information: Celia Doremus, 781.648.2953
Tammy Erickson Associates, based in the Boston area, explores organizational change, develops unique insights, works in partnership with businesses to disseminate and leverage new ideas within their organization, and offers a specific set of hands-on services that help re-shape key organizational practices.