The Leadership Shadow – Role modelling gender equality from the top down

Attitude reflects leadership

What is The Leadership Shadow?

  • It’s for all leaders.
  • It’s for all organisations.
  • It’s new.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s the start point for increasing levels of women in leadership positions.

Created by two organisations leading the way on gender diversity in Australia (the Male Champions of Change and Chief Executive Women) The Leadership Shadow is a management tool to help ‘guide leaders who want their every action – their Leadership Shadow – to send the right signal around gender diversity’ (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2014).

There are four elements to the model:

  1. What I say
  2. How I act
  3. What I prioritise
  4. How I measure

Answering a series of questions about each of these elements prompts leaders to think about whether their words and actions are as clear and powerful as they want them to be.

The Leadership Shadow model

Whether your just starting to take a genuine look at gender diversity or simply fine-tuning already established attitudes and behaviours The Leadership Shadow is a useful guide to be up to date with this issue (with the bonus of improving against your organisation’s WGEA’s gender equality indicators).

The proof is in this pudding

Here are a few leaders who have put The Leadership Shadow into practice…

“We are extremely focussed on performance management. We reward those who are embracing our new culture and values and actively manage people who have not. The latter sends the strongest possible message to the organisation—I am walking the talk. You have to do it. Over the years, I have learned that you can’t say that you are going to live by a set of values and then allow the organisation to see that you are not willing to act when the wrong call has been made. People watch carefully all the time.”

Holly Kramer, Chief Executive Officer, Best and Less

“I have learned that a good way to champion flexibility is to make clear that work is about output and impact, not about time at the office. It’s for both women and men, and for any reason, not just for parents.”

Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mirvac

“The Leadership Shadow gives you a structure to sharpen your approach and demonstrate how you are making diversity a priority. Making progress on gender balance is not yet second nature for many of us. The Leadership Shadow focuses the mind on how to take a leadership position that will drive progress on what is an important social, economic and productivity priority for Australia.”

Simon Rothery, Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs Australia & New Zealand

Where can you get a copy?

The Leadership Shadow Report is available on the Australian Human Rights Commission website. As is The Leadership Shadow Implementation Guide.

We’d love to here your thoughts on this model (i.e. whether you would add or change anything) and what your success or challenges have been in implementing it.

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