The Gender Gap in the C Suite

Posted by on Jun 2, 2011 in ComLead

Currently, only 15 Fortune 500 companies are run by women. This is not only an issue plaguing corporate America. If you consider the 190 Heads of State in the world, only 9 of them are women.

It would be one-sided to say that no progress has been since the nineteenth amendment and the Feminist Movement. But with equal rights ensured what suggestions do businesswomen have to maintain progress and initiate growth.

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, gave a talk in December on the topic of women at the topic of the corporate ladder. Sandberg had three messages:

  1. Sit at the table. When in a meeting, contribute and make sure that you are present. It is important to advocate for yourself in a business setting. This is difficult because of the communication tactics that women typically employ. For instance, we tend to externally attribute our success to luck or a team effort. By a women taking responsibility for her accomplishments, she is placing value on herself the same way that men tend to.
  2. Make your partner a real partner. Negotiating familial obligations and advancement at work is extremely difficult, especially when women are responsible for many aspects of household maintenance. Equal distribution of household responsibilities and professional obligations can benefit each partner.
  3. Don’t leave before you leave: Keep pushing for promotions and doing work you are proud of. When you begin to consider a family, continue to work as hard as you can until you are prepared to leave. By prematurely stepping back, you are only hurting yourself.

Check out the video in more detail here: 

What other issues or topics arise when considering the gender gap in the c-suite?

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