Is business open to female leaders?
Decades after the first women took seats on corporate boards and began occupying corner offices, they remain under-represented in senior-most executive jobs and in boardrooms. Experts cite a variety of barriers to advancement, including lingering bias and career paths that don't lead to promotions. Tech companies increasingly are under scrutiny for their lack of diversity in hiring and leadership. In France, Norway, Germany and other European countries, companies must meet mandated quotas until women fill 30 to 40 percent of corporate board seats. Women's advocates argue that putting more women in charge can help a company's bottom line. “For the longest time the arguments that were made [for diversity were]: ‘It's the right thing to do.’ Now: ‘It's the smart thing to do,’” says David Gaddis Ross, a Columbia University professor of leadership. By some measures, women are succeeding in business. About three in 10 wives earn more than their husbands, and in 3.9 million couples, the woman is the only breadwinner, about twice as many as in 1985, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Gerzema, John, and Michael D'Antonio, “The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future,” Jossey-Bass, 2013. Two researchers explore how traditionally feminine traits are increasingly valued and sought in leaders in many countries.
Rosin, Hanna, “The End of Men and the Rise of Women,” Riverhead, 2012. An Atlantic magazine writer argues that men are no longer the dominant gender in a postindustrial economy that “is indifferent to men's size and strength.”
Sandberg, Sheryl, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. Facebook's chief operating officer has drawn both praise and scorn for questioning why so few women are leaders.
Wilen-Daugenti, Tracey, Courtney L. Vien and Caroline Molina-Ray, eds., “Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders,” Peter Lang, 2013. Drawing on surveys and more than 200 interviews, this book argues that women are increasingly valuable in an evolving economy.
Wolf, Alison, “The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World,” Crown Publishers, 2013. A professor of management shows the effects of women working from “the return of the servant classes” to the growth of powerful people marrying each other; well researched, with many examples from the United Kingdom.
Zweigenhaft, Richard L., and G. William Domhoff, “The New CEOs: Women, African American, Latino, and Asian American Leaders of Fortune 500 Companies,” Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. A statistics-filled look at minority leaders of Fortune 500 companies, including women, shows their backgrounds, educations and much more. Written by two professors who have studied minorities in powerful roles.
Burke, Daria, “What Lean In Means for Women of Color,” The Huffington Post, April 25, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/
Lien, Tracey, “Why are women leaving the tech industry in droves?” Los Angeles Times, Feb. 22, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Lublin, Joann S., “Men Pitch In to Boost Women at Work,” The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Rosin, Hanna, “Who Wears the Pants in this Economy?” The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/
Sandberg, Sheryl, and Adam Grant, “How Men Can Succeed in the Boardroom and in the Bedroom,” The New York Times, March 5, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Smale, Alison, and Claire Caine Miller, “Germany Sets Gender Quota in Boardroom,” The New York Times, March 6, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Stilwell, Victoria, “Here's How Top Female Executives End Up Getting Paid Less Than Men,” Bloomberg Business, March 24, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Wolfers, Justin, “Fewer Women Run Big Companies Than Men Named John,” The Upshot, The New York Times, March 2, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Reports and Studies
Hewlett, Sylvia Ann, and Tai Green, “Black Women: Ready to Lead,” Center for Talent Innovation, April 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
“Examining the Cracks in the Ceiling: A Survey of Corporate Diversity Practices of the S&P 100,” Calvert Investments, March 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
“2013 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners,” Catalyst, Dec. 10, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/
“Women, Business and the Law 2014,” International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/
“Women Matter,” McKinsey & Co., undated, accessed April 15, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Video and More
“The Broadsheet,” Fortune, accessed April 15, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
“Lean In,” accessed April 15, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Ross, David, “Women in Management,” Columbia Business School, Sept. 20, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/
The Next Step
Feintzeig, Rachel, “One Is Enough: Why There Aren't More Women Executives,” The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Ferro, Shane, “Female execs should be flipping out about their compensation,” Business Insider, March 25, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Ward, Jillian, “Women in U.K. Executive Director Roles Reach Record Numbers,” Bloomberg Business, March 25, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Grose, Jessica, “It's Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It's Your Husband,” Slate, Nov. 18, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Mann, Leslie, “Family duties make women executives prone to depression: study,” Chicago Tribune, Feb. 5, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Nawaz, Amna, “Pepsi CEO On Work Life Balance and Coping With Parental Guilt,” NBC News, July 2, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Anderson, Elizabeth, “Karen Blackett: ‘I haven't been openly judged on gender or skin colour, but I'm sure it goes on behind my back,’” The Telegraph, Nov. 17, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Demarinis, Olivia, “MLB News: Latina Official Files Suit Against MLB for Discrimination,” Latin Post, Dec. 13, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Giang, Vivian, “Why It's So Difficult for Minority Women to Find Mentors,” Fast Company, Jan. 5, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Anderson, Jenny, “Quotas Not the Best Way to Add and Retain Women for Corporate Boards, Study Finds,” The New York Times, April 8, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Bhalla, Nita, “Indian firms mock gender diversity as boardroom deadline passes: analysts,” Reuters, April 1, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Davidson, Lauren, “Proof that women in boardrooms quotas work,” The Telegraph, Jan. 13, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
120 Wall St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10005
Organization that seeks to expand opportunities for women in business through research, advocacy and awards.
Center for Women and Work
Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8553
Focuses on policy issues for women's advancement in the workplace.
Center for WorkLife Law
Hastings College of the Law, University of California, Hastings, 200 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Focuses on workplace discrimination against women.
Committee of 200
980 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1575, Chicago, IL 60611
A network of powerful businesswomen aimed at celebrating and advancing women in leadership positions and in entrepreneurship.
Executive Leadership Council
1001 N. Fairfax St., Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314
A membership organization that seeks to bring more blacks to C-suite and corporate boards through forums and outreach.
9600 Escarpment, Suite 745 PMB 72, Austin, TX 78749
Leading businesses and business schools conduct or support research on women's success, with the goal of placing women in “significant careers.”
Institute for Women's Policy Research
1200 18th St., N.W., Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036
Conducts research on women, including pay equity, immigration and education.
855 El Camino Real, Building 5, Suite 350, Palo Alto, CA 94301
A social network aimed at encouraging women to pursue their ambitions; created by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.
30% Club United Kingdom
+44 77 98 626282 30PercentClub@mhpc.com
International corporations, working through national chapters, aim to create better gender balance by developing in-house programs that place women in the corporate pipeline and on boards of directors.