Many businesses fail to understand the diversity in the demographics that comprise their workforce. What attracts, retains and creates job satisfaction for each demographic group is different. What motivates male hourly employees varies significantly from what motivates top performing female executives. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of Top Talent and Harvard University professor, specifically studied top performing female executives, those in the top 6% of the earning bracket.

Her research focused on how the work environment has changed since the economic downturn and the affects it has had on top talent in some of the nation’s leading organizations. The downturn, along with cut backs and downsizings, has alienated many people turning businesses into hostile, stressful and less caring places to work. Many people have felt betrayed and distrust runs rampant. These changes have affected men and women differently. Her research is important and worthy of further examination.

She compared the dissimilarities between top earning male and female executives. They are strikingly different. Financial rewards are less important to women while respect and recognition are more important. Failure to understand these differences will lead to higher turnover rates among senior level women. Hewlett also notes the flight risk among top female executives is twice as high as men. Any business that cannot attract and retain female brain power faces major consequences. Here is a list of what top performing female executives want from their work environment.

1. Association with people they respect–82%
2. Be themselves at work–79%
3. Flexible work arrangements–64%
4. Collaborate with others and be part of a team–61%
5. Give back to society through the work they do–56%
6. Recognition–51%
7. Financial rewards–42%


Come hear Greg speak at the following events:

June 21 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm
SHRM Atlanta Strategic HR Conference
Atlanta Marriott Century Center
Managing Change in Turbulent Times: How to Keep Your Employees Engaged & Motivated

June 28
SHRM 2011 Annual Conference & Exposition
Las Vegas, Nevada
Here Today or Gone Tomorrow: Proven Ways to Attract, Engage and Retain Your Workforce

August 2
Texas Petroleum Marketers
San Antonio, Texas
Transforming Workers to Winners

September 29
Iowa SHRM State Conference
Proven Ways to Engage, Retain and Motivate Your Top Talent /Using Assessments to Hire, Develop and Retain Top Talent


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