Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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Kullman vowed to make her best effort to ensure equal pay for women in the organizations she worked at. But it took a few decades before Kullman and the many other women who had the same experience gained the political capital, economic clout, and confidence to push back against this sort of thinking and realistically demand change. In 2016 Kullman and dozens of other female CEOs and business leaders formed Paradigm for Parity (P4P), a coalition of business leaders, including a number of Fortune 1000 CEOs, committed to solv- ing the corporate leadership gender gap. Today, Kullman serves as cochair with Jewelle Bickford, partner at Evercore Wealth Management, and Sandra Beach Lin, retired president and CEO of Cal- isolar Inc. Paradigm for Parity's goal is to achieve full gender parity by 2030, with the near-term goal of women holding at least 30 percent of senior roles. Today, more than 80 companies have committed to achieving parity and pledged to imple- ment the Paradigm for Parity 5-Point Ac- tion Plan (see sidebar). Michelle Murphy, chief diversity officer and VP, global talent, at Ingersoll Rand, says that Kullman's personal experiences W hen Ellen Kullman was in engi- neering school, some professors would say to her, "You're the only woman who has ever taken this class." Kullman, the former CEO of DuPont, thought to herself at the time, "Great! I'm first." Years later, Kullman, now a cochair of Par- adigm for Parity®, a coalition working to close the gender leadership gap, says, "At the time, I didn't think of that as a nega- tive. I thought of it as a positive, that I was breaking ground." It took many years and a multitude of experiences in the workforce for Kullman to realize that being the only woman in a STEM class, or one of a handful in a field such as engineering, was not only a negative for women as a whole—it was also a negative for the indi- vidual and her company. One of those experiences came early in her career, when she learned that a male coworker who had a similar position, but less accountability in terms of P&L, earned more money than she did. "e difference was he was at a higher level in the org chart, a level that was eligible for the bonus pool." Kullman went to talk to her boss about it. "I told him, 'My job is actually bigger and I think I should be at that level [on the org chart].' He liter- ally said to me, "You don't have a wife and children." By Jackie Krentzman in the field make her the ideal leader for this initiative. "Growing up through the engineering ranks to become CEO, Ellen has firsthand experience of the challenges and excite- ment of growing her career in an indus- try and corporate workforce traditionally dominated by men," says Murphy. "Ellen, like many women I know, began her ca- reer thinking things would be different and better for women over time. When that didn't happen after 35 years in the workforce, she decided to make it happen. By cofounding the P4P coalition, Ellen is ensuring that women leaders of tomor- row will have a different set of opportu- nities than she and her contemporaries did. e same intellect and tenacity that forged her career will be applied to make our P4P goals a reality." The pipeline fallacy For many years, those fighting for gender equity in leadership positions in the workplace focused on the pipeline—if you could bring more women into a giv- en field or company division, that alone would naturally increase the flow of wom- en to upper management. But the numbers didn't bear this theory out. Nor did the evidence. "I think my generation of leaders real- ized that the pipeline was not the answer when our adult daughters began facing many of the same barriers we faced when we were their age," says Kullman. Kullman, who grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, was an outlier in her academic and professional career. She received a BS in mechanical engineering from Tufts University at a time when women were scarce in the field, and a MS in manage- ment from Kellogg School of Manage- ment at Northwestern. She worked for Westinghouse and General Electric be- fore joining DuPont in 1988. She moved THE FUTURE STARTS NOW d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m W i n t e r 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 29

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