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Where Are All The Women Leaders? (Infographic)

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These days we are seeing more and more women take the reins in the worlds of business, law, and politics. While women have made significant strides towards equality with men over the past century, considerable challenges still remain. The sore lack of women leaders is a symptom of this inequality. Despite years of advancement, women still made up only 12% of board members in 2015 and remain significantly low in number among the world’s national leaders. For every Marissa Mayer and Jacinda Ardern, there are millions of women who are missing out on leadership opportunities.

“We have a problem with women in leadership across the board. This leadership gap – this problem of not enough women in leadership – is running really deep and it’s in every industry.”

– Sheryl Sandberg, Author of Lean In

What factors contribute to low numbers of women leaders?

Firstly, many women struggle to succeed in certain environments due to gender bias, discrimination and negative stereotyping. Another major factor hindering women’s success is the “motherhood penalty. ” Women may have difficulty gaining employment, getting promoted or obtaining a higher salary when they have a family. Another key barrier for women in leadership is a lack of role models to motivate and inspire future generations of females.

Why is having more women leaders important?

The presence of women in the top-tier of any organization benefits everyone. Women introduce a diversity of leadership and communication styles and can lend a fresh perspective on issues. Furthermore, a greater number of women leaders has been shown to contribute to higher profitability, a healthy national economy and public policy innovation. It’s clear that more women in leadership is a win-win for everyone.

If you want to learn more about the subject of women and leadership, including gender bias, check out the compelling infographic below from the team at Trainwest.

Why do we need more female leaders? This infographic explains.

Gender bias is one factor that challenges women leaders. Infographic via Trainwest.

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50 Comments

  1. Inspirational Leader July 5, 2018

    Don’t they have an option for leave for the male parent? What about members of the LGBT community? I am not seeing how this problem should continue to impact Women Leaders?

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 5, 2018

      It’s sad that gender equality doesn’t still exist. And the LGBT issues are another issue, yes.

  2. Dani Keaton July 5, 2018

    love your message!

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 5, 2018

      Thanks ♥

  3. TheFeatheredSleep July 5, 2018

    Very important and a great question and awful omission

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      Let us rise up to be the strong women we’re meant to be! xo

  4. Resa July 5, 2018

    Fantastic presentation! TY!

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      And thank you for all the positive energy I feel from you, Resa! <3

    2. Resa July 6, 2018

      You…are positive energy, and that’s why I adore you and WWI!
      I’m making a presentation to the Women’s Committee tomorrow. We’re wanting to get a private communications hub and forum going.
      I’ve put a lot of time into exploring options. Very excited!

    3. Christy B July 11, 2018

      OHHHH! I’m just reading this comment now. Thank you ♥ And I hope your presentation to the committee went great. You’re amidst the waves of change, dear Resa. Keep swimming! xxoo

  5. Ben Aqiba July 5, 2018

    Hi Christy,

    great message. We are all equal by birth, but it seems that society impose divisions!It’s up to us to accept them or to fight against them !

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      Yes, the societal impact is huge! Thanks Ben for your astute comment.

  6. Julie de Rohan July 6, 2018

    There’s also something about raising girls to believe that it’s OK to become leaders. I think there can often be an internal struggle with women about what they’re allowed to do, how much they’re allowed to achieve, who they’re allowed to be that can inhibit their progression to leadership positions. More female leaders would definitely help in this regard but there also needs to be a change in families so girls don’t grow up to believe they have to diminish themselves in order to be liked or that any power they have is only in relation to how they look. Thanks for this post, Christy, really thought-provoking.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      Julie, your comment is so thoughtful and I thank you for it. The emphasis on the appearance of females from the time we’re girls is something that the media is reinforcing and I’m so tired of it… I want more people to take a step back as you do and see we can make changes once we realize the gender-biased messages of society aren’t ones we have to go along with.

  7. Stevie Turner July 6, 2018

    The urge to procreate, especially as a woman reaches her thirties and realises that her fertility is limited, is very strong. Once a baby appears on the scene, a mother bonds with it very quickly and many mothers prefer to juggle part time work with looking after their children rather than feeling guilty for pursuing a career and leaving their children with a childminder all day. Of course there are exceptions, but usually women are happier doing part time work if it means they are the primary caregiver and can take their kids to school and pick them up instead of somebody else doing it. This is especially important if they are a single parent. In two-parent families the man usually earns more, and therefore this further encourages part time work for a woman, whose first responsibility is more often than not to her children rather than to any job. Children are often ill as they build their immune systems, and mothers often have to take time off to look after them unless they have somebody in the family on permanent standby or earn enough to employ a nanny. Until men give birth to babies, these issues will always hinder women in becoming leaders.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      Stevie, you make many intriguing points here! The guilt many mothers feel when they are working away from their child is something that comes up sometimes in comments here. There is so much on womens’ plates and it’s a lot to juggle. Thankfully many men I know are stepping up with meal prep, laundry, etc. This helps free up moms’ time a little. I see so many obstacles for female leaders and your comment makes me realize there are even more than I initially thought!

    2. Stevie Turner July 6, 2018

      I know because I’ve had 2 kids of my own. Generally speaking, once a woman has a baby to look after, her priorities change.

    3. Christy B July 6, 2018

      The child comes first <3

    4. Stevie Turner July 6, 2018

      You hold that baby in your arms and you don’t care about being a leader! However, men are very competitive and do care, and that’s why there’s so many male leaders…

  8. superduque 777 July 6, 2018

    💋💋💋 Kisses from Sevilla, Spain…

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  9. John Fioravanti July 6, 2018

    During my 35-year secondary school teaching career, I shared my view that because men and women are profoundly different in many ways, they each bring different things to the problem-solving table. To exclude one group is to cripple the problem-solving process. It is the major reason, I believe why we have profound social problems in our western societies in a day and age when such problems should have been banished to the ashes of history. If we truly want peace, a gentler, more loving society, we need the leadership of both genders. So let it be written. So let it be done.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 6, 2018

      Your words here are beautiful, John. Thank you for sharing here your vision of working together. Yes, we all have our unique skill sets to contribute and as a cohesive unit we can achieve so much. I wish you a wonderful rest of your Friday!

    2. John Fioravanti July 6, 2018

      Thanks, Christy, you enjoy your weekend too.

    3. Christy B July 6, 2018

      :)

  10. Linnea Tanner July 7, 2018

    Thank you, Christy, for sharing this informative article. After working in biotech corporation for 25 years, my experience is the upper executives typically want a stereotypical male leader who is straight-talking, aggressive and decisive deal-makers. Typically, other type of management styles that promote the ability to foster people’s strengths and creativity, and build effective teams are not valued. And the ability to play politics has a lot to do whether someone rises or not. There has to be a cultural change in which there is a longer-term vision of building a company with diversity rather than the short-term vision of making a short-term profit, no matter the cost to employees.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 11, 2018

      There really is a lot of politics, whether it’s readily apparent or not, within most big organizations, at least at the top. Your experiences that you share here help drive the point home that there is work to be done within organizational structure to level the field gender-wise. Thanks Linnea for the astute comment.

  11. broadview11 July 7, 2018

    women are starting to rise up, in the working community which is good, Hillary Clinton is a good example for me, for braking the barrier of women running for president, as women we need to start supporting one another, which can go along way.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 11, 2018

      Excellent that you have strong female role models – That’s a great way to keep motivated and encouraged :)

    2. broadview11 July 11, 2018

      Thank you!

    3. Christy B July 18, 2018

  12. dgkaye July 7, 2018

    I’m seeing a lot of women stepping up to the plate in the US. Yay! And this infographic was fantastic!!!! :) xx

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 11, 2018

      We’ll keep supporting those women – and we’ll do our best to do the same!! Thanks Debby xo

    2. dgkaye July 12, 2018

      Amen! <3

    3. Christy B August 3, 2018

      Thanks for being here with your enthusiasm, Debby!!

    4. dgkaye August 4, 2018

      <3

  13. Sageleaf July 8, 2018

    What a great post and infographic. Many strides have been made, but there is still more progress to be made. And when an assertive woman tries to speak her mind, I’ve found that they are viewed more negatively. However, if a white male does the same, he’s a leader. It’s interesting the gender differences that still go on. On a really good note, however, the prime minister of New Zealand is a woman who also just had a baby, while in power! So…progress is being made. :)

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 11, 2018

      I love how you state the reality and then move onto the positive point about New Zealand :) You’re an optimist at heart! It’s one of the things I love most about you xo

  14. robbiecheadle July 10, 2018

    Some interesting information and statistics here, Christy. The problem with remediating this through legislation is that you end up with an inferior product often. It takes away freedom of choice and a company’s ability to chose the best candidate. This can be disastrous.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 11, 2018

      Good point about the potential for an inferior product, Robbie. That would not be good.

  15. women's live July 12, 2018

    Great post ! Unfortunately, In my countries usually the companies prefer to hire male because they have much less responsibility at home with kids…etc.

    Reply
    1. Christy B July 12, 2018

      Do you mind my asking what country you’re in? I understand that cultural expectations are a big factor in other countries too.

    2. women's live July 14, 2018

      Saudi Arabia and I should mention that these days there are huge changes in Saudi Arabia to support Saudi women❤️ soon we will get equal rights to men.
      SO PROUD

    3. Christy B July 15, 2018

      Wonderful!! ♥

  16. M. Wigg August 1, 2018

    Excellent content! This is something that I feel very passionate about and I’m happy to see others participating in the conversation. I believe that a large part of this, as you mentioned in discussing unconscious bias and stereotyping, is that there is a social cost for women who exude confidence and negotiate in the same way that a successful man would. Behaving as a leader is too often perceived as behaving as a b*** or being bossy, and that stigma needs to be squashed. The more self aware we become the more progress we will make! Keep doing what you’re doing and discussing the issues. :) .

    Reply
    1. Christy B August 2, 2018

      Oh you’re so right about strong women being labeled the “b” word ~ And the double standard as men don’t often get this reputation for being aggressive. I thank you for the supportive words here about the posts too!

    2. Dabir Dalton March 3, 2019

      No matter how one slices and dices it trashing one’s culture is not progress – it is rebellion.

  17. Dabir Dalton October 4, 2018

    Where they have always been: Out of touch with reality!

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 3, 2019

      Ouch – I don’t believe women are out of touch. Instead I see the social norms as skewed.

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