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Council CEO Leslie Beyer Discusses Attracting, Retaining Women at WGLC


Ways of attracting and retaining women into leadership roles dominated a panel discussion during the 2021 Women’s Global Leadership Conference on November 2. Council CEO Leslie Beyer spoke about pay equity, mentorship, executive coaching and more with Kim Coomber-Hallum, bp, and Anne Psencik, EagleClaw Midstream, moderated by Alexandra “Alie” Pruner, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

Beyer discussed findings of the 2021 Diversity Study update, which showed that mentorship programs and leadership role models help drive change.

“Targeted mentorship within the company helps promote and retain women,” Beyer said. “Whether it’s a large or small company, a mentorship/sponsorship program where women are promoted and spotlighted helps retention.”

Beyer and the other panelists cited a recent McKinsey study, which found women in corporate America are feeling more burned out and stressed than ever. Research shows that despite the popular notion that women lack negotiation skills and that partially fuels the pay gap, women do ask for higher salaries as often as men do.

“Compensation inequality doesn’t have to do with women who negotiate badly. In performance reviews, there’s talk about your personality more than your male colleagues, or males are compensated more because of the size of their teams. As women in the workforce, we need to be aware that those prejudices are out there.”

Council CEO Leslie Beyer

“These conversations need to be happening more,” she added.

Companies are smart enough that they don’t want to lose senior executive women, the panelists said. But they often don’t suggest pay raises until women reach their breaking point.

For those women seeking managerial experience or want to prep in order to be a manager, the panelists suggested management development programs and executive coaching.

“Executive coaching is something that every professional woman should think about. It will help you invest in personal growth and see yourself through a different lens. Whatever you can do to drive confidence within yourself, whether that’s through executive coaching or mentorship, will give you a seat at the table and help you command respect.”

Council CEO Leslie Beyer

Role models are also an important component in helping the retention of women and keep the talent pipeline flowing.

“We have to have enough women on boards of directors and at the executive level to show role models and develop the leadership pipeline,” Beyer said. “Women drive the diversity of thought that we need right now in our industry. We’ve got to be able to attract young people and diverse people. When interacting with companies, you can see the ones who have diversity of thought are performing better.”

To get involved in the Council’s DEI efforts, contact COO Molly Determan.

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