Although a woman was selected to be a major party’s candidate for the first time in this year’s presidential race, leadership positions are still lacking for American women in the corporate world.
According to a 2016 research report by Mercer titled “When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive,” females make up only 20 percent of executive-level positions. The report, which canvassed 42 countries and 3.2 million employees, included 1.3 million women.
To help combat the inequality displayed in prominent workplace roles, many organizations have developed diversity and inclusion initiatives to help promote women in the workforce. These efforts do help. Research shows that companies with leaders who are actively engaged in these programs have more women in executive positions and also hire, promote and retain women at higher rates.
However, there is a more recent realization that women workers tend to be “over-mentored and under-sponsored.” In other words, despite being coached to perform at higher levels, women still lack access to positions in which these newly honed skills can be leveraged. More companies are recruiting and training women straight out of college, but as they progress through their career, fewer women rise through the ranks than men.
The U.S. and Canada have made recent strides to promote pay equity, as 40 percent of organizations offer a formal pay equity remediation process. But somewhat surprisingly, Latin American is the only region on track to achieve gender parity at the professional level within 10 years. There, women are expected to represent 44 percent of executives in 2025.
Latin America also leads the rest of the world in the share of women who hold P&L (profit and loss) roles, and is No. 1 in middle management engagement in diversity and inclusion initiatives (51 percent).
According to Mercer, women rate above men in certain skill sets that are conducive to leadership in the workplace. For example, compared to men, women rate higher at inclusive team management (43 versus 20 percent); emotional intelligence (24 versus 5 percent); and flexibility and adaptability (39 versus 20 percent).
Source: AE Marketing Hub