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DDI CEO Tacy Byham Advocates Four Power Moves to Amplify Women on International Womens Day

March 8, 2019

On March 8, DDI CEO Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D. and Vice President Bruce Watt present a virtual global keynote to improve gender equity in the workplace

PITTSBURGH – Is it because of unconscious bias? Is it because people make assumptions that women want to take a step back from their careers when they have families? Is it because women are afraid others will perceive them as arrogant if they ask for leadership positions?

The reasons may be varied, but the reality is clear: After promising starts, women are increasingly excluded from the leadership pipeline after they transition into their first leadership jobs, and then at increasingly alarming rates until they are deeply underrepresented in senior leadership and executive suites. And it’s going to take a joint effort from men and women to create meaningful and measurable change.

That’s why, on International Women’s Day, DDI Chief Executive Officer Tacy Byham, Ph.D. and Bruce Watt, vice president of DDI Europe, India and Australia, will deliver a powerful virtual keynote “Amplify: Power Moves for Women and Their Allies to Ignite Impact.” For the convenience of global audiences, they will offer the keynote at both 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. EST.

“While I want to give women practical steps to spark their own careers, it won’t work to simply try to ‘fix’ the women. We need our male allies to help change the system,” said Byham. “The encouraging news is that through DDI’s Men as Allies program, we are hearing from a huge number of men who support gender equality in the workplace; they just don’t know what actions they should take to support women. And that’s why we’re working hard to pull men into the conversation.”

In the keynote, Byham will share inspirational stories of women she and co-author Ellen McGirt, award-winning journalist for Fortune magazine, have collected for their upcoming book, Amplify: Power Moves for Women and Their Allies to Ignite Change. Along with the stories, Byham addresses many of the barriers that hold women back, including a lack of confidence, fear of failure, self-defeating language, and missed networking opportunities. Byham and Watt will also give practical tips to help women overcome these barriers, as well as actions men can take to support gender equity in the workplace.

New data from DDI’s Frontline Leader Project demonstrates how critical it is to empower women leaders, especially early in their careers. Based on DDI’s database of leadership assessment data, the research showed that only 40 percent of people being considered for frontline manager positions are women. The percentage drops at each subsequent level of leadership, ending up with women representing only 12 percent of candidates vying for C-suite positions. 

“The critical first step for future women executives starts with becoming a first-time leader,” said Byham. “We need to invest in women winning the opportunities to step up to this first rung, yet our data shows that women often aren’t even in the running. And that’s why we’re so focused on gender equity in the workplace. It’s not about pitting men against women, but about ensuring a level playing field so that we aren’t missing out on incredibly talented people.”

Read more about Byham’s recommended power moves to amplify women in her article on the topic. For more information about DDI’s Women in Leadership programs, visit DDI’s website:


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About DDI

DDI is a global leadership company that helps organizations transform the way they hire, promote and develop leaders at every level. With more than 100 industrial & organizational psychologists on staff, DDI has dedicated itself to the science and practice of leadership since 1970. Clients include half of the Fortune 500 and multinationals in every industry across more than 90 countries. To find out more information about DDI’s leadership expertise, visit

About Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D. 

Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D. is chief executive officer of global leadership consulting firm DDI. A nationally recognized speaker and author in the field of leadership, Tacy co-authored Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others with Richard Wellins, available in five languages. A staunch supporter of women’s empowerment and gender equality, Tacy served as the inaugural keynote speaker for the Women in Technology conference, sponsored by HR Technology (2016) and has delivered her #LeadLikeAGirl speech at many conferences and organizations worldwide. She was also a foundational member of The Conference Board’s Leadership Council on Advancing Women in the Workplace which is leading a systemic approach to gender parity and creating a ripple of growth and change.