Established women in their careers have likely witnessed the gender gap first-hand on their way to the top. The easiest illustration of the gender gap is who holds leadership roles and gets the promotions. Leadership traits are not unique to any one gender, background, culture or industry, but the gap between men and women in leadership roles would suggest otherwise. Moreover, the gap between women of color is even greater. So, why the disparity? As a female-led agency, it’s a topic that we take to heart. Many of us have broken through the glass ceiling and want to aid other women building their careers.
What individuals around you hold these leadership positions? According to data from Lean In, only 21% of C-suite leaders today are women and just 1% are Black women. When looking at Fortune 500 companies, only 7% of CEOs are female. That’s 36 women accounting for 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs! Compare this to the 57% of women that make up the workforce and it’s obvious there is an issue that needs addressing. More women are working yet fewer make it to the top.
A study found that if first-level women managers were hired and promoted statistically at the same rate and frequency as first-level managers, there would be 1 million more women in management over the next five years. These numbers might suggest men are more qualified to lead but the data does not support that theory. The majority of individuals believe that there is a difference between male and female leadership styles, but only a select few believe there is a clear winner between the two — and of those, many lean towards women.