Nowadays many companies have the best intentions to improve gender balance in the top management positions. But after quite some years of good intentions, the results are often painfully small. That is a pity since over and over again a strong correlation is shown between gender balance and success of teams and organisations. Why is it is that managers fail to create more gender balance in their organisations?
Over the last years, I have been involved in creating gender balance and an inclusion culture in a number of organisations. I learned that one of the biggest obstacles is NOT the existence of prejudice that men are better in management then women. Over 95 % of the men and women in a study by Direction indicate that men and women are equally capable of leadership.
The biggest obstacle for reaching gender balance is an unconscious bias (a so-called mindbug) that is wide-spread in men and women. This mindbug makes 77% of men and 64% of women unconsciously prefer men over women when it comes to appointing managers and leaders.