Women and Leadership
It is Women’s History Month and what better way to recognize accomplishments by women but to identify the challenges STILL faced in climbing that corporate ladder. Though women in leadership roles are slowly increasing from years past, there’s still more work to do. Women and leadership—it is not the pipeline; it’s a pathway problem.
Women outnumber men in college. They account for more than half (50.7%) of undergraduates and tend to have higher grades and drop out less frequently than men. In the second quarter of 2022, the labor force participation rate for college-educated women was 69.6%, the same as in the second quarter of 2019. Between 2020 and 2021, women earned 505,000 master’s degrees while men earned 327,000 in the United States. That means women were awarded 60% of all U.S. graduate degrees in 2020.
The U.S. Workforce
Women have worked their way through the ranks of the professional world to represent well over half of the US workforce. But they still hold a smaller percentage of leadership roles than men and fewer yet are women of color..
- Women represent 4%of the US workforce as of September 2022 but only held 35% of senior leadership positions
- According to one study, companies with women executives are 30%more likely to outperform other companies
- 8%of Fortune 500 CEOs are women
- Less than 1%of Fortune 500 CEOs are women of color
- 5%of U.S. medical students are women but, as of 2019, only 36.3% are doctors.
There are a total of forty-one women running businesses on the Fortune 500 list. And that is an all-time high. For the first time ever in 2021, two Black women run Fortune 500 companies, Rosalind Brewer at Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett at TIAA.
Still Not Shocked?
In 2015, The New York Times found that fewer women ran big companies than men named John. In the design industry in particular, 60% of undergraduates are women, yet only 11% hold titles of a creative director or higher in that industry.
One challenge for women is to gain respect and acceptance among her peers. And this is more likely to be achieved through mentorship and sponsorship. Women in leadership roles already tend to mentor other women. What we need are more male mentors.
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