Re: A request for help (long)

K.C. Burgess Yakemovic (
Mon, 21 Nov 1994 06:09:57 -0800 (PST)

> Here is the nub. THe organization is a male dominated technical
> organization. Both my client and I believe that the males within the
> organization will be promoted through the male mentoring system whether
> they do or do not have a succession planning program. What about the
> females ? There is only one female in the top 40 or so positions.
> Should my client implement a succession planning process for women only ?

[What follows is the opinion of a women who worked in a male dominated
technical organization for 16 years. It is _opinion_ based on single
experience, flavored with input from other women over the years, who
worked both for the same and different companies.]

Assuming they have an interest in moving their organization beyond the
description "male dominated technical organization"... (which may be a
big assumption! :-) ...

Why implement a process only for women? Why not look at improving the
information sharing / mentoring process for _all_ personnel, male or
female? Or develop a formal succession planning process which covers all

Perhaps simply exposing the existence of the "old boy network"... and
letting people know that it needs to be widened would help.

Not knowing the situation, it isn't easy to give general answers, but...
looking at things such as where does the mentoring occur (is it a site
that would be unfamiliar or uncomfortable for women?), and whether there
enough women in the lower ranks (to provide choices when it is time for
promotion) might also be helpful.

To go back to the assumption for a minute... do they _want_ to change
their current situation? Why? In what direction? Why that direction?

It sounds like you have your hands full! Good luck with your client.

-- kcby
KC Burgess Yakemovic
Group Performance Systems Inc. phone / fax: 404-395-0282
4776 Village North Court email :
Atlanta GA 30338 USA