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The leaders at the Motley Fool wanted to know if they should invest specifically in women’s leadership development. Some of the female employees were beginning to ask for specific programming, particularly around the time that the book “Lean In” was published. However, the Fool wanted to be intentional and strategic about how they responded to the question, instead of simply following the trend.
In this fast-paced, growing, ambitious company, it was a challenge to get a clear pulse on the organization’s needs for women’s leadership programming. There were opposing views, individual opinions, personal experiences, and a charismatic CEO who was committed to creating the firm of the future.
We had to carefully craft our approach to make sure we were getting a balanced view of the situation.
To provide strategic recommendations, Tiara International provided a comprehensive organizational analysis that included:
At the end of the data collection phase, the recommendations were shared with the leadership team.
Being a technology-based, financial services firm, the Fool is definitely operating in a male-dominated field. However, the results of the organization-wide exploration showed that a specific women’s leadership initiative would have been detrimental. It would have singled out women, perpetuating a myth that they need to be treated specially. If we stopped there only half of the story would have been told.
While analyzing the data some other issues were discovered:
The recommendations included: