In today’s fast-changing world, a climate that welcomes diversity and inclusion should not be an afterthought. A decisive, analytical, independent and aggressive leadership is essential. However, companies also need nurturing, flexible, collaborative, patient and empathetic leaders. Dynamic businesses should be able to combine both masculine and feminine leadership traits. Thus, in a nutshell, there is a need for more women in the C-Suite in order to propel companies to greater heights.
Women in the C-Suite Reality Check: Looking at the Numbers
Ideally, diversity and inclusion should become a natural foundation of a company’s leadership and culture. However, the numbers tell us a different story. Out of the Fortune 500 companies, the total number of CEOs went down from 32 to 24 just a year ago. With only about 5 percent of the executive leadership positions allotted to women, one can’t help but ask—Why are there few women in the C-Suite?
When joining the workforce at an entry level, men and women start on equal footing. However, the pipeline of female talent begins to decline in middle management. Based on the 2018 data of S&P 500 companies, female executives among mid-level managers make up only 36 percent of the roster and 26.5 percent for the senior level management.
More Women in the C-Suite Can Help Close the Gap
According to the World Economic Forum Report on The Global Gender Gap Report of 2017, it will take 217 years to close the pay disparity and workplace opportunities between male and female workers. Plus, at the rate we are going, the overall global gender gap can close in 61 years in Western Europe, 62 years in South Asia, 79 years in the Caribbean and Latin America, 102 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, 128 years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 157 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 161 years in the Pacific and East Asia, and 168 years in North America.
Clearly, there is an undeniable call to invest in more effort to close the gaping workplace gender disparity.
Businesses Advocating for Women in Leadership—Yes to More Women in the C-Suite!
Industries and businesses are becoming aware of the growing gender gap. More so, companies are now recognizing the need to tap on the strengths and qualities of a female executive to bring in a distinct leadership brand into the board. Additionally, more women in leadership encourage a culture that values equality, diversity and more open communication. Consequently, having more women in the C-Suite will encourage more women in leadership roles.
Here are some of the businesses boldly stepping up to advocate for more women in the C-Suite Level:
One Big Step for Mankind, One Bold Move for Women in the C-Suite
Gender diversity doesn’t only benefit the company’s culture. Equality in gender can also future-proof the business. Research shows that companies with more female leaders are 20 percent more innovative than companies with all-male leaders.
Notably, a female brain has higher connectivity between the brain’s left and right hemispheres. This neurological composition allows women to be more intuitive and analytical. On the other hand, a man’s brain is hardwired to take action and execute tasks.
The stark differences in behavior and leadership styles between men and women are complementary. When harnessed accordingly, both leadership styles of men and women can help businesses address a host of issues and bring more benefits to the workplace. Hence, why not start by taking a bold collective step in having more women in the C-suite of existing companies?