Female Business leaders becoming the norm


 Female Business leaders becoming the norm

In the twenty first century, women leaders have become a common sight in business. With more than half of the U.S. workforce female and almost twice as many women students graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), it would seem logical that the leaderboards would be littered with female names. However, according to recent research by Catalyst, only 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women sitting at their companies’ helm this year.

Why are there so few women in leadership when the playing field is level and their numbers are growing? In short, women face a number of obstacles when pursuing leadership roles.

One of the biggest barriers women face is that they make less than men. According to Catalyst data, female leaders earned an average $80,000 less per year than male counterparts. Half of all working mothers in the U.S. work outside the home—yet only 7% of leaders even have a child at home with them (National Center for Women and Information Technology). This means that childcare is likely to be considered as a factor hindering advancement for women, especially if they also have an infant or young child at home.

Women also have to work harder to prove themselves in leadership roles. According to a Harvard University study, women need to exhibit “outstanding” performance in their role three times more than their male counterparts do before they are considered qualified enough for the same level of promotion. This pressure leads many women leaders to feel they must prove themselves constantly and that failure is always on the horizon. In addition, there are a number of gender-based stereotypes that lead men more easily into leadership positions, including the notion that women don’t have the “right stuff” for leadership.

The construction of a “right stuff” image is dependent on gender stereotypes. The masculine leadership stereotype includes qualities such as being aggressive, certain and assertive, while the feminine leadership stereotype includes characteristics like being friendly and warm, kind and generous. These traits are often not valued as highly as those deemed more masculine by society’s standards. The culture of business also emphasizes leaders who have a combination of these traits, but also whose actions are decisive and who show no sign of weakness or indecision.

Volunteering can help women leaders get better promotion opportunities because non-profit associations provide a number of benefits that lead to more favorable career outcomes for female volunteers than their male counterparts. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau offers some women more advancement opportunities because they typically have less work experience than men. The trend is expected to continue as women continue to make up a larger portion of the workforce and will become even more marginalized if they are not given greater leadership positions.

The role of mentorship is also crucial in encouraging female leaders into positions of leadership. Early on, female volunteers can be mentored by senior women in their field and receive valuable advice about how to develop a professional image and be effective in the workplace. By building their networks with other potential leaders, these early mentors often help foster later success themselves.

Female leaders are often overlooked in the business world, but they are making good progress. From 2001 to 2010, the number of female heads of CSO’s increased by 38%. In business, many women have already proven that they can take on a leadership role to promote a diverse workforce and aim for organizational success. However, these women face significant obstacles when trying to obtain promotion or assume bigger roles. Female leaders will have even more success if they use these opportunities to improve their own careers as well as those of their colleagues and their organization.

It is in the best interest of all parties involved to give women leaders a chance. Not only do these women bring valuable perspectives and skills to the business, but the organizations that employ them also benefit from increased productivity, higher profits and more successful teams at work. By encouraging women leaders, companies are supporting a diverse workforce and proving that gender does not determine who brings talent to the table.

(This article was written by Alyssa Marie Johnson, a UGA student studying Business Administration. She is a member of the Young Alumni Association, a professional development organization for UGA’s most recently graduated alumni. She also is a member of the Student-Advising Committee for the Office of Faculty Assessment and Support at UGA and advises students in the Honors College.)

The New York Times on women in business
Source: http://www.hbr. org/archive/2008/07/managing_women.html
https://www.nwlcprochoiceleaguecitytx .org/2012/05/19/creating-diversity-an-effective-tool-to-enhance-businesses
http://www.gallup.com/" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" target="_blank">"Women in Business: A Global Report"


This article shows that there are many obstacles in today's world. Some of the obstacles are beyond one's control, and some these decisions can be made by one person. Merely being a woman alone is no longer a reason to give someone low quality or name-calling. Women need to stand up, speak up and form all-women teams if they are wanting to go places in the business world. This will focus on their strengths and not let the negative discrimination affect them in any way.


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