Assess candidates’ potential, not just their baseline skills. When selecting “high potential” candidates for leadership training, organizations will assess how much a person already knows about strategy, change management, the industry landscape, etc. This creates an exclusionary loop: if women aren’t getting opportunities to develop these skills in their current jobs, then how will they ever qualify for leadership training?
Instead, organizations can assess key aptitudes such as curiosity, determination, engagement and insight. These have been shown to correlate with leadership potential, yet have nothing to do with prior industry experience. Not surprisingly, women consistently outscore men in many key aptitudes associated with effective leadership.