I was visiting McDonalds yesterday on the behalf a client and, as I was leaving with my host, the lift opened and a women entered – average height probably in her late thirties – my host exchanged the usual type of pleasantries with her, as you do in a lift, so I assumed that she was a colleague and mentally pitched her at middle-management level. When we exited the lift and were out of earshot, my host said proudly ‘that is our CEO, Catriona Noble. ‘
Well, my Unconscious Bias was working overtime as always – you see, as much as I pride myself on the ‘women can do anything’ mantra and the need – no, the criticality of getting more women to the boardroom – I envision, unconsciously, a CEO as male, in their 50s and over 6ft tall!
So my apologies and my admiration, Catriona – I only hope that you mentor and encourage more women to the top, during your time at the top of the Golden Arches.
Natasha Hawker owns Employee Matters Pty Ltd; an HR Consultancy that assists small to medium businesses with their HR functions to make them more efficient and profitable. Their offering includes HR Management, Recruitment, Training, Coaching, and Exit Management – find them at www.employeematters.com.au