(Time to read this Blog article is about 50 seconds)
Note: This blog article is from my friend Jim Brown. Jim is a brilliant business thinker and a ‘straight shooter’. He can be reached at James B. Brown Consulting Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jim’s comments about the need for more women in senior management positions is so clear and so important that I asked him if I could share it with my readers. He agreed. Here it is…
Fact: Since the year 2000, 20% more women than men have graduated university/college with a degree.
Fact: Women now represent 40% of MBA graduates and that number continues to climb.
Fact: Women graduate at a much higher rate in fields like marketing and strategic planning. These are typically the drivers for success in business as opposed to finance or IT, which tend to be male dominated but are seen as support functions in most organizations.
Fact: Women represent only 6.4% of CEO’s in Fortune 500 companies.
I’m dumbfounded by this last statistic! What it tells me is that there are far too many senior executives still living in the Stone Age and continuing to practice cronyism.
The ‘old boys’ networks need to be dismantled. Search firms and search committees need to re-evaluate their criteria. I especially blame search firms for their failure to seek and present qualified women simply because it is safer, in their minds, to stick to the ‘tried and true’ practices of the last century.
If your organization does not have women represented at positions of significant influence and responsibility, chances are you are missing out on some incredible insights. Furthermore, you are likely losing share to those who have ‘seen the light’ and pursued a practice and policy of gender representation in their firms.
I am not pushing for a quota or even a specific minimum percentage. Companies and their industries differ and the talent base of women varies in every case. But the mindset that suggests that women are ok to a certain level, but not executive level, is simply archaic nonsense. Those in the 6.4% referenced above come from industries as varied as auto manufacturing, to network and software development, to banking and energy.
Open your minds to the possibilities and you’ll open your company to the latent potential that resides therein. Fear not the fact that women are as competent as any male. Rather fear the fact that you are not part of the revolution that is occurring.
Trust me, the future will be defined by those firms that empower women rather than those who continue to be threatened by that prospect!!!