One of the largest social media platforms in the world had a real dilemma — the faces behind the company didn’t completely reflect its users.
The company noticed that despite having a deep bench of talented, high-level women leaders, they were not being promoted at rates that would ensure retention or meet the company’s publicly-stated goals. The social media giant’s management team wanted to pilot a new development initiative to address diversity and inclusion, starting specifically with upward mobility of women leaders. They brought us on to help design and drive this initiative.
How We Did It
After conducting design research interviews, we identified a set of key insights and prioritized core development areas. We then designed program content around sponsorship; feedback; strategic network and assignments; power; storytelling; and leadership style (academic, creative, and business).
Each component was designed to extend into the broader organization and the women’s networks. The hope was to ensure sustainability of learning outcomes, influence culture, and address systemic issues. The 16-week program incorporated interactive live and virtual events and brought together emerging social science research and related thought leaders. Ultimately, we designed the leadership program to empower and support high-potential women to expand their range, take ownership of their leadership pathway, and create impact.
The work paid off. Women reported transformative shifts in their own leadership style and executive presence, their day-to-day actions and behaviors with their teams, and were more confident in their overall leadership ability.
The women fully integrated the learnings and achieved positive and lasting results — and in the process, became stronger advocates for their teams as well.