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.