Last year I was predictably disappointed by the small number of women representatives on the Thinkers 50 list. I felt that we really needed to add more women to the Top 50 thinkers list. This year, Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove have included FIVE women – up from four – with Renee Mauborgne, co-author of the best-selling management book Blue Ocean Strategy, ranking with W Chan Kim at number 5.
Both Lynda Gratton of London Business School and Rosabeth Moss Kanter edge up a place in the rankings, and Tammy Erickson and Barbara Kellerman enter the list for the first time.
But surely there are more women out there that you admire. I know there are some impressive women on my personal admiration list. What’s yours? Who would you add – and why?
Nina Nets It Out: Last year I hoped to see more women on the Top 50 Thinkers list. I got my wish – but only just. Who else would you add? Let me know – and remember you can also VOTE for your favorite Top 50 Thinker (or add a new name to the list for next year).
I have to say something similar to what I said last year. In order for more women to make this list more women have to right business books. I the last year, I’ve only received two business books written by women. They were Marilyn Carlson Nelson’s How We Lead Matters and Erika Andersen’s Being Strategic.
That said, one thing I noted was that all of the women are academics and writers whereas the men include CEOs who are evidently conveying their thinking by example. A few of them are Steve Jobs, Rata Tata, Eric Schmidt, and Jeff Immelt. I’m not sure what that says, but it’s interesting.
And, as usual this is a very volatile list. Twelve of the fifty are new to the list. The last list had 19 new out of fifty.
Indeed you are right, Wally. More women need to jump onto the authoring bandwagon…something you and I have discussed in the past. It is interesting as you note that the male writers tend to be CEOs speaking from experience while the women are more academics or writers. Perhaps in time this will change and more women CEOs will take the time to write a book to help other women make the climb?
The fact that we still don’t have that many women on the top thinkers list, just proves that we still have so many challenges in the business world as women. I think sometimes selections like this, overlook the smaller scale, but still possibly very innovative out of the box type thinking that women bring to the table. The IT VP of our company for example is a very accomplished female (she has two patents under her name on top of everything else that she has done) and I really admire the way that in every meeting that she participates she has very thought provoking questions and ideas for the team and how she helps the team to look at the problems at different angles. But how do you translate that to ending up and being considered on a ranking system? Maybe writing a book is really the only way?
Thanks for your readership and comment. I fully agree that women bring a different perspective to the table in each and every setting in which they participate. I often find myself thinking about situations differently than many of my colleagues, be they men or women. As to how we translate this to achieving higher levels of success is a difficult question to address. Each person experiences this “climb” differently based on the organization they are in, their respective personality, their ability to properly network within and outside of their organization, etc. A book may be one way to gain credibility beyond the boundaries of your company. But, it likely remains true that people are often able to garner more value from outside their organization than from within.
Thanks, that is a very good point Nina. As someone who is still learning, your last sentence really hits home; “people are often able to garner more value from outside their organization than from within.” That is a profound and valuable statement that will certainly help all of us newbies.
Thanks Sehri and good luck as a newbie! I hope my blog offers you some sound guidance as you work your own way through the corporate world.