GENDER BALANCE IN ORGANISATIONS
Fiona Pearman and Kate Boorer are advocates, speakers, researchers and authors on the complex interplay of factors that contribute to a lack of gender balance at most levels in organisations and governments. Their recently published book, Core Confidence explores both the macro (systemic, structural and gender bias) and micro (personal confidence) barriers at play. While it will take time to change the macro landscape, they saw a specific opportunity to address one issue that came up again and again in their work as coaches and facilitators: personal confidence.
Research by Chief Executive Women Australia and Bain in 2017 showed that women were “twice as likely as men to receive feedback that they need to show more confidence”. This information confirmed what Fiona Kate were noticing when coaching executives and observing in workshops with women from both corporate and government organisations: women were either self identifying and/or being given feedback that confidence was a problem in their career advancement.
Through their research, coaching and workshops Fiona and Kate developed a methodology that recognises Core Confidence as something everyone has however, through the challenges of life, they sometimes become disconnected from it. The phases of the workshop and the book are purposefully designed to reconnect women to their Core Confidence, where readers are provided with a practical how to guide. (http://coreconfidence.com.au/).
Importantly, the book also examines the wider context of a society in which we all, men and women, absorb biased and conflicting messages from an early age and shines a light on examples of how and when this happens in order to encourage all readers to become advocates for change. This links with Kate and Fiona’s work as consultants providing insights, methodologies and programs to address gender balance in organisations.