The lack of women in executive positions is a societal problem that needs systemic action in order to change. According to an infographic by Ohio University, women make up 50 percent of the American workforce, but only account for 16 percent of executive teams. While this number is an affront to women everywhere, women are not the only ones who suffer from this disproportionate population of leaders.
Women Improve Diversity
Research shows that companies who prioritize diversity benefit in many ways, including increased problem solving, creativity, problem solving, and increased recruitment and retention. These highly desirable workplace traits are the result of cultivating a work environment that is inclusive, which is attractive to good job candidates. Inclusive workplaces are often recognized as progressive and forward thinking due to the unique culture, opinions and ideas of people from different backgrounds, which helps to increase the successfulness of any company.
Women are not ascending to C-suite positions, but it‘s not for lack of trying. There are many forms of institutionalized sexism that prevent women from receiving the same opportunities that go to men, such as distribution of scholarships and the availability of jobs post graduation. In order to balance out the genders of these positions, it’s important to make deliberate motions towards this goal. This includes targeted recruiting, a transparent and supportive HR equality policy, as well as employer-supported continued education.
Ascending to Executive Positions
Education is one of the most important factors for increasing the number of women in positions of power. From 1970 to 2013, the proportion of professional women with a college degree went from 11 to 39 percent. This shows that women are investing in education as it is advocated as the most important step to achieving financial security. Unfortunately the number of women in executive positions has not correlated closely with the number of women earning degrees.
For this reason, companies are responsible for creating more opportunities for women to be involved in upper level management through targeted recruiting and transparent policies. Executive positions have long been filled by men and it is difficult for that to change without purposeful and actionable attention to the issue. Increasing the visibility of women executives is important in providing role models for young women to look up to and make goals to strive towards.
Women bring a lot to the table, and having them in executive positions helps add an important perspective and opinion to business decisions. The various upbringings of minorities, and those who collect life experiences that vary from the standard white male, are helpful in providing considerations that represent company employees and audiences who are minorities. It’s impossible to be inclusive without actually including minorities in upper level management and this is now being recognized as a far-reaching problem. However, by increasing awareness of the disproportionate numbers of women in executive roles and creating initiatives to combat them, women can succeed in C-suite positions and take up the space that has always belonged to them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Avery Taylor Phillips – Avery is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Check out her blog on https://www.equities.com/user/AveryTaylorPhillips