Why We Need More Women Leaders Now
Updated: Nov 27, 2021
Tucker Miller | President and Founder of Day 6 Leadership, LLC
Here's some good news for women in business: in 2020, women occupied a higher percentage of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies than ever before. It's not all good news, though. Despite 2020 being a watershed year for women in senior leadership roles, analysts predict that it could take over 100 years for women to achieve equal representation in senior level positions if they continue to advance at the current pace.
If There Was Ever a Time to Challenge the Status Quo, This It.
Gender equity is not a women’s issue; it’s a business issue. Publicly held companies with female board members report a 53% higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales, and 66% higher return on capital. With established business results like these, we must wonder:
Why for every 100 men promoted to management are only 72 women promoted?
If nearly 50% of entry-level leaders are women, why are there fewer than 20% women leaders in C-suite roles?
Is there quantifiable evidence to prove that women are less qualified than men for these top-level leadership roles?
What is causing the diminishing pipeline of women leaders? Why are they falling out of the pipeline? Where are they going?
It's time to find out. Everything is changing around us and businesses are pivoting long-standing practices to adapt to a disrupted world. Eliminating barriers that prevent women from accelerating to assume levels of greater influence and responsibility is critical for all of us.
More Women in Leadership Promotes Diversity for All Groups.
Companies with diverse workforces and leadership teams outperform their peers. Studies report better bottom line results, higher levels of retention, and improved quality of decision-making where there are diverse teams. Because individuals often represent an intersection of multiple social and categorizations, increasing gender diversity has been demonstrated to increase other types of diversity (sexual orientation/expression, race, nationality, etc.).
Senior Leaders Are Key to Women's Advancement.
Senior leaders, regardless of gender, need to pave the way for emerging female and other underrepresented individuals to transition to higher level leadership roles.
Ignoring the individual needs of emerging female leaders is a choice, conscious or not, to accept diminished business results.
Achieving workplace equity -- and the benefits that ensue from it -- requires more than simple changes in policy, recruiting practices, or business strategy. Senior leaders must become better allies and advocates, and expand their line of sight when considering opportunities and projects offering visibility and development to emerging leaders.
Expanding roles and the benefits of more women in top level leadership roles is a “we” challenge.
Expanding roles and the benefits of more women in top level leadership roles is a “we” challenge, not an “us” or “them”; not an “us vs. them.” Not addressing the development needs of emerging female leaders may also signal acceptance, if not participation, in gender and other perceived inequities within the organization or its leadership ranks.
Emerging Women Leaders Need to Know This:
Hard work and great results are not enough -- and it's not personal, nor is it necessary to "act like a man" in order to get ahead. But no one gets ahead without help.
We can and we must prepare more women for expanded roles of responsibility and influence by helping them learn to accept those opportunities with confidence in themselves as leaders.
We benefit when we work together, when we ask for help, and when we take advantage of the help that's offered. Too many talented, innovative and strategic women are not in leadership positions because they are afraid of not being taken seriously, not being heard, or not being enough. Barriers - both actual and perceived -- must be overcome, and they can be.
Day 6 Leadership, LLC is a consulting and coaching company specializing in helping to prepare women leaders for expanded responsibility, influence, and impact.