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CCL's women's leadership program boosts Ingersoll Rand's performance

Brussels, 21 May 2013: A women’s leadership program from the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is helping to boost Ingersoll Rand’s key performance indicators, according to a study that will be presented at ASTD’s 2013 International Conference & Exposition in Dallas on Tuesday, 21 May at 10:00 (CCL Story of Impact).

Women’s Leadership Program participants at Ingersoll Rand were rated 22% higher in job performance, and 18% higher in competency ratings than their counterparts in the EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) region. Their promotion rate was four times the average for their counterparts.

Ingersoll Rand is a Global 1000 firm known for its diversified industrial technology and climate solutions. Beginning in 2010, the company adopted new strategies to drive improved operational excellence, global growth and innovation.

“Senior leaders at Ingersoll Rand knew that to succeed, they needed to make changes in corporate culture to broaden and strengthen the diversity of their talent pool,” says Regina Eckert, who leads the CCL program. Ingersoll Rand hired Neddy Perez to fill the newly-created role of VP for Global Diversity and Inclusion. CCL worked with Neddy Perez and Jan Bouwen, VP of Talent, Organizational Development and Enterprise Learning at Ingersoll Rand’s European Region, to build a Women’s Leadership Program that would increase the retention and representation of women in senior roles in Europe.

“Women in the manufacturing industry are greatly under represented because there are not enough women in the Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) space,” says Neddy Perez. “As a result, there is also a gap  in management/leadership ranks. Ingersoll Rand also struggled with retention and growth of its female talent so it was critical from a business perspective to address this challenge.  ”

Ingersoll Rand’s executive team made a commitment to focus on development and support for women in order to improve retention, build its emerging leader pool, create diversity balance and move the needle on business performance.

“It was clear we needed to address both the visible and invisible barriers that may stop talented female associates from reaching the most senior levels of our organization,” observes Jan Bouwen. CCL’s first assignment was to clarify those barriers, and identify hidden obstacles and implicit barriers for diversity.

“Company management made it clear that the  program  wasn’t about ‘fixing the women’,” says Perez. “It was viewed as a strategic investment and supported by the senior members of our leadership team who acknowledge we had some amazing female talent but we needed to help them gain exposure to other aspects of the company and leadership. The program also entailed giving the participants an opportunity to work on business cases and make recommendations on products and services that could impact the company.” As a visible sign of organizational support, select senior leaders - mostly men - volunteered as mentors to women participants and received special support to hone their mentoring skills even further.

The Women’s Leadership Program blends face-to-face training, experiential learning, assessment and personalized support by a CCL coach and an Ingersoll Rand mentor. Aside from a safe environment, “mentoring also provides an opportunity for participants to expand their professional network beyond the confines of their own current function and department,” adds Eckert.

“Ultimately the program has proven to be a crucial component of our corporate strategy to become a premier performer,” Bouwen concludes. “By cultivating a progressive, diverse and inclusive work environment that values and leverages diversity, we’re making a meaningful difference to our business and our customers.”

About the Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that accelerates strategy and business results by unlocking the leadership potential of individuals and organizations. Founded in 1970, CCL offers an array of research-based programs, products and services for leaders at all levels. Ranked among the world’s Top 10 providers of executive education by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Financial Times, CCL is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., with offices in Colorado Springs, Colo.; San Diego, Calif.; Brussels; Moscow; Singapore; Shanghai, New Delhi-NCR,  and Addis Ababa. Its work is supported by 500 faculty members and staff.