December 4, 2019

Gender Equity in the C-Suite, with Margaret Spence

Episode 28:

“It’s my mission to close the diversity gap between the Executive Suite and the C-Suite by ending career plateaus and off-ramps that derail the careers of minority women and men. There’s a tiny space between making a difference and accepting the status quo – I work within that gap.” – Margaret Spence

A transformational keynote speaker, author, coach, business strategist, and visionary, Margaret has 30 years of experience inspiring organizations to value talent. Engaging employees in a shared vision, creating inclusive initiatives, and fostering collaboration across silos are central tenets of her work.

Determined to create a glide path for diversity and inclusion in executive leadership, Margaret launched The Employee to CEO Project, a global initiative aimed at increasing the representation of women, with specific emphasis on minority women, in C-Suite leadership roles. Her latest book, Leadership Self-Transformation: 52 Career-Defining Questions Every High-Achieving Women Must Answer, challenges women to clarify their vision, find the power, and the limitless courage to build the career they want.

Margaret’s journey to the executive suite was nontraditional. She began her career managing workplace injuries and, consequently, observed injured employees being discarded from the workforce. From a catapulting question written on a napkin in 1999, her company, C. Douglas & Associates, currently manages a claims loss portfolio valued at over $95 million for its multinational client base.

Voted Top 20 Speaker seven consecutive years at SHRM Society for Human Resource Management Annual and Diversity conferences. A six-year member of SHRM’s Special Expertise Panel. She is the five-term Conference Co-chair of the Return to Work section of the WCI Workers’ Compensation Education Conference. In 2017 she received the InTouch Excellence Award “Women Leading the Way” in Workers’ Compensation.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Margaret’s journey to Diversity and Inclusion work began by working in workers’ compensation and helping employees with disability remain in the workforce
  • Why Margaret recognized a need to help women achieve C-suite roles after seeing a dramatic lack of women in executive teams
  • What common organizational patterns and myths Margaret sees that are often holding women back from reaching the C-suite
  • Why organizations focus too much on who is and isn’t ready to move ahead into a leadership role and don’t focus enough on developing people to get them ready
  • Why more work needs to be done to promote management development programs in addition to leadership programs
  • What steps and strategies Margaret recommends to organizations interested in helping women advance, and why co-mentoring is key
  • Why “checking the Women box” isn’t enough, and why companies need to consider the opportunities women in marginalized racial groups have for advancement
  • Why the question “what do you want, and why don’t you have it now?” is a powerful and career-defining question to ask

Additional resources: