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INCLUSION & DIVERSITY


Resilience is the key to keeping your job

Overview

Resilience—the ability to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities—may be the new criterion for professional advancement. An Accenture survey of 524 senior executives from medium to large companies in 20 countries found that more than two-thirds of corporate leaders around the world rate resilience as extremely important in determining who to retain. Moreover, these leaders view women as slightly more resilient than men and are providing their female professionals with programs to develop resilience.

Leading organizations will provide high-performing women with a variety of experiences to increase their resilience and confidence helping to prepare them to succeed in senior leadership positions.

The research, released as part of Accenture’s celebration of International Women’s Day, clearly demonstrated that in the current world of economic uncertainty and intense competitiveness, organizations that instill resilience in their up-and-coming leadership will have a clear advantage.

 

Click here to download the full article. Women Leaders and Resilience: Perspectives from the C-Suite. This opens a new window.Read our research. [PDF]

Background

Accenture’s global research study, "Women Leaders and Resilience: Perspectives from the C-Suite" was conducted for release on International Women's Day 2010 to help fuel the dialogue on key issues affecting working women.

Surveying 524 senior executives from medium to large companies in 20 countries, the research sought to:

  • Identify the value senior executives give to resilience as a primary quality of leadership.

  • Better understand the actions organizations take to develop women for leadership positions.

Key Findings

More than two-thirds of corporate leaders around the world report that resilience—the ability to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities—is very to extremely important in determining who to retain. Moreover, these leaders view women as slightly more resilient than men and are providing their female professionals with programs to develop resilience.

Despite the economic downturn, many women’s professional development programs remain intact with very few executives reporting an elimination of their leadership curricula, mentoring activities or leadership programs. In fact, some executives reported expanding programs for women.

Companies are also taking a variety of other actions to support women’s career development such as mentoring, work-life balance programs and external coaches.

Respondents associated resilience most frequently with seniority, 77 percent saying that senior managers are most resilient.

There are also regional differences in how respondents rank female employees who are Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. This difference is seen in attributed levels of self-confidence, productivity and flexibility as well as attributes such as proficiency, confidence and teamwork.

Conclusions

Resilience may be the new criterion for professional advancement. In the current world of economic uncertainty and intense competitiveness, organizations that instill resilience in their up-and-coming leaders will have a clear advantage.

Like other skills, resilience can be learned. Leading organizations will provide high-performing women with a variety of experiences including training, mentoring and “stretch” roles to increase their resilience and confidence, thereby preparing them to succeed in senior leadership positions.