Issue 76 - 01 | Forget Cinderella, Find Fred Astaire

By Avivah Wittenberg-Cox
Published Nov. 3, 2010 12:00 a.m.
“Most companies would like to become more gender balanced at all levels, with women and men dancing together in a smooth and natural way. They have been trying for decades to attract, retain and promote more women. They have tried to grow their female customer bases. They are embarrassed by the all-male faces on the boardroom website, dancing to the tune of their own drummers. Most have gotten rid of the photos, but not the problem. Yet some companies have tried really hard, for a really long time. And almost everyone, male and female, is suffering from gender fatigue.


Why so much effort for so little result?

Because we have over-focused on kissing Cinderella awake from her slumber and inviting her to the ball. But nobody ever bothered checking if the prince can actually dance.”

About Avivah Wittenberg-Cox | Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is CEO of 20-First. 20-First works with progressive companies interested in building gender “bilingual” organizations that capture the opportunities offered by the other half of the talent pool and the other half of the market—the female half. The firm’s renowned Bilingual Leadership programs help executives—men and women—manage difference more effectively. Avivah is also the Founder and Honorary President of the European Professional Women’s Network, and was a Visiting Coach at INSEAD. She is a popular speaker on leadership and gender issues across Europe and has had articles and interviews published in publications such as the International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times and The Economist. Canadian, French and Swiss, she lives in France with her husband and gender balanced children (a son and a daughter).
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