Breaking Down Barriers

In today’s world, one would expect that women would fill just as many roles in the corporate world as men, particularly when it comes to top executives. But women are still outnumbered in corporate roles, with men far outranking them in these leadership positions.

Women make up only 11% of the highest paid jobs in corporate America, despite the fact that they contribute nearly half of the entire workforce in the country.

Women also don’t hold as many executive positions (11.5%) that are just under the CEO in the corporate ladder as far as pay and position are concerned. Despite the fact that this group generally makes up a large number of potential candidates for future CEOs, the women who held such positions were usually in roles that are not as likely to prime them for the position of CEO.

The truth is, women bring a lot to the table. While they may have just as much to contribute as men do, their thoughts and innovations might differ. And in just about any other industry or field of study, diversity is considered a good thing. Truly, more women in corporate roles would be economically beneficial to any organization that will have them.

Investing in Women Leadership

Companies have long been investing in initiatives with the goal to support the advancement of women in leadership roles in the corporate world. But for some reason, the results aren’t as prominent as one would assume them to be by now. Unfortunately, women often fall behind with their careers early on. And by the time you reach the top of the career ladder, the gender gap tends to increase.

Even though advancements are certainly being made with women in corporate America, they’re a far cry of where they could be.

It’s not that there’s a lack of positions in this particular sphere for women to snatch up. There are definitely plenty of opportunities for women in this realm. But these opportunities might not paint themselves in such a positive picture for women to want to capitalize on them.

Even smaller organizations don’t have many more women filling CEO positions compared to larger S&P 500 corporations, and the share of non-CEO executives is not very high either.

Even women who do hold top executive positions are more likely to hold more administrative or finance roles. This tends to be more of what females in the corporate world tend to go after. Positions like the head of human resources or chief financial officer are more likely to be the types of top positions that women seek out.  

Women in Decision Making Positions

Organizations in all industries still struggle to recruit female engineers early in their careers. But when women involved in some capacity in corporate America look towards climbing the corporate ladder, they perceive the climb to be a lot more of a challenge than they prefer to endure. They may not have the support they need to achieve top executive positions and may continue to face gender bias as they make their way to the top.

Whether or not such perceptions are true – which will vary from one organization to the next – there are certainly avenues for women to take to achieve the top spot in the corporate world.

Regardless, organizations would be well advised to promote top positions to women and encourage them to take up such spots with the appropriate credentials. Further, companies should support the climb of women in the hierarchy of corporate positions and fill leadership roles with women so others have someone to look up to and emulate. Women bring a lot to the table, and their unique nature can bring a certain type of diversity that should be welcomed in all facets of business.