Friday Roundup: Will Women Leaders Carpe the Chaos?

by Gloria Feldt on June 3rd, 2011
in 9 Ways Blog, Carpe the Chaos, Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Earlier this week, I came across an article titled “Why ‘Female’ Skills Are Worth More.” For example, just one stunning fact:

Companies with the most women on their boards post 66% higher returns on invested capital, and 42% higher returns on sales than companies with the fewest women represented.

Apparently the fact that companies with greater percentages of women in top leadership roles tend to be more successful is being translated into hiring decisions at an increasingly rapid clip.

This week’s roundup reflects the news that in the current financial chaos, with a little help sex scandals here and there, women are taking important leading roles in journalism, finance, and government.

It’s a really big deal that the New York Times has announced its first female executive editor, Jill Abramson–check out these takes:

What Jill Abramson’s appointment means for women in journalism.

Statement by Eleanor Smeal about Abramson’s appointment.

On the same day as the announcement was made about Abramson’s appointment, the White House announced that Kathryn Rummler, the former Enron prosecutor, is being appointed as White House Counsel. Rummler is another woman who has fearlessly embraced power wherever she has gone. According to HuffPo’s story,
Meet Obama’s new White House Counsel.:

Ruemmler made a lasting impression with her closing remarks in the Enron trial: “Those … were … flat … lies!” Ruemmler shouted in the courtroom while slapping her hand on the lectern to the tempo her words, referring to Lay’s conversations with Enron employees about the company’s soundness. “He had no right to do that,” she added.

It’s fitting that among these appointments of women into top leadership positions, a woman should be emerging as the top candidate to replace Dominique Stauss Kahn at the IMF.
Christine Lagarde Seen as Shoo-in to Replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Lagarde’s possible appointment follows a promising trend of female finance professionals challenging the status-quo.
Female finance professionals moving into top positions.

In the financial industry it seemed at first that women were being brought in because there was a mess so large the men didn’t know how to clean it up (even though they had made it). I’m glad to see women carpe the chaos and finding the opportunities in it to move up the ladder.

But here’s the question: Was this just an exceptional week or is it a real trend? What do you think? How will women fare in these roles they are taking on during times of chaos?

Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

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