“Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist — while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!”
In today’s climate, there is a heated debate about the equality or inequality of women and female leadership in the workplace. Breaking the ‘glass ceiling’ and pay equality issues are at the top of the debate. There are many facts that support and detract from each side of the argument. Do women really have more opportunity in today’s business environment?
Opportunities for Female Leadership
About two-thirds of Americans, including majorities of men and women alike, say it is easier for men than women to get elected to high political offices and to get top executive positions in business, but women are more likely to express this view. About three-quarters of women say men have a better shot at these roles, compared with about six in ten men, a pattern that is repeated across generations. For success in today’s market, more women need to be in business leadership.
Studies tell us that 37 percent of women between ages 25 and 29 held bachelor’s degrees, compared to 30 percent of men, yet women only occupied 5.6 percent of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. The discrepancy between these two numbers is unacceptable. By sequestering women outside of leadership roles, we lose invaluable perspectives and ideas that could benefit every organization.
A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics says there is a positive correlation between the presence of women in corporate leadership and performance in a magnitude that is not small. Studies show that women in leadership improve their companies culturally and financially.
The Future of Leadership
You should be encouraged by the statistics reflecting that women and men together help an organization grow much more than if men run it on their own. Women want to be a part of the next generation who stand alongside their male partners to impact the global marketplace. It is time for female leadership in the global economy.