Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?
Updated date:
Jan 26, 2022

Table of Contents

Definition of Terms  

Simply put, it is the equitable representation of all genders in any group or organization, professional or otherwise. 

Why is gender diversity important? Have you ever tried to answer this question? 

In my fantasy world, there would never be a glass ceiling. Women would have always been equally competent as men, and their achievements were recognized in boardrooms worldwide as a result of balance.

If that were the case, then I think that the #Flexappeal campaign would not exist. We would not have come to the point where we should debate the advantages or necessity of having women’s work rights since it is already a well-established and efficient standard for women’s equality.

And that is the true center for sexual diversity. However, we’re not there. But if the fundamental problem is not addressed, are we merely banging our heads with no prospect of ever getting there? 

I would also say that if everyone at the boardroom table looks like you do, you’re doing the diversity thing wrong.

This article will be like a crash course in gender diversity education.

Key Statistics

  • Senior management accounts for 29% of women.
  • 3500 Fortune firms are headed by women CEOs.
  • Women in the United States only hold 31% of senior positions.
  • The Fortune 500 companies employ 12.5 percent of American women as Chief Financial Officers.
  • The chances of female executives getting dismissed are higher than male executives.
  • The CEO of Bet365, Denise Coates, made $277 million in 2019.

Statistics from the men against women of the CEO reveal a significant gender disparity in the salary given.

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

The proportion of women in senior leadership differs by region.

Honestly, gender affects the role of the Chief Executive Officer. A person’s gender in the Chief Executive Officer position affects the future of the organization. It is important to note that the three factors considered for a person of either gender to land a Chief Executive Officer position are;

  1. Work ethics
  2. Ability to build relationships
  3. Passion

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

The Workplace

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

The path to becoming a CEO is longer for female executives in this particular group, averaging two years longer among YPO members.

Most companies feel the pressure to bridge the gap of gender bias through; hiring, employee evaluations, promoting employees to executive positions and avoiding stereotypes in marketing practices. 

Career drivers appear to have been formed by culture or market realities in different parts of the world. Respondents in Europe were most likely to pursue a career as a professional manager as their first job.

ALSO READ - Men and Women’s View on Entrepreneurship: Is It Really That Different?

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

Categories of Biases Faced By Women

Performance support bias:

This category of bias occurs when better or more equipment is provided for one gender to the detriment of the other. It’s no wild guess that the male gender has often been favored.

Even after becoming CEO, this still remains a problem for the female gender. 

The best way to gain support is to do double of what is required for the other gender or go over and beyond what is truly necessary.

Performance review bias:

The beauty of success is getting it based on merit, and that’s what we all aim at. How is it then that one gender still suffers from bias?

According to the Harvard Business Review, performance evaluations are inherently biased.  

In fact, without a proper structure for evaluation, people would rather review others based on stereotypes related to gender rather than on merit.

Performance reward bias:

Now, after jumping through the hoops the first two categories present, females face another hurdle. 

Getting the proper reward for a job well done. Work and reward are quid pro quo; you do one to get the other. Sounds straightforward enough, right? No. 

A study by SHRM shows that women and minorities, even when they receive the same performance evaluation as men, are paid less.

Barriers Caused By the Pandemic:

1. Leaders have different challenges based on where they live. For example, respondents in Africa were more likely to mention “fear of failure” (47 percent Africa, 39 percent rest of world). Still, respondents in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) were more likely to say “lack of mentors” was a barrier (51 percent MENA, 36 percent rest of world).

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

2. Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum report, the workplace issues women encountered during the epidemic have been worsened by digitization and the necessity to take on “double-shift responsibilities” due to school closures and insufficient care facilities. McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org’s Women in the Workplace 2020 report also underlined the toll the pandemic is taking on women and the burnout senior-level women are feeling as a result of the stress.

3. Because of these work/life trade-offs, women put their career objectives on wait and make more sacrifices than males. Female CEOs may be able to overcome this issue due to their determination. Almost one-third (30%) of female respondents cited a “strong passion for difficult goals” as a motivator for what helped them the most on their path to the corner office.

Gender Diversity: Still a Barrier For Women in the CEO Role?

McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report shows that although from 2016 to 2021, female representation in the C-Suite increased by 5%, they remain underrepresented across the corporate ladder.

Hopefully, we will not have to wait another century for concrete change to shake the hold of gender inequality.

The report further says that after the pandemic, women are rising as stronger leaders, but their performance continues to go unnoticed.

Scaling Bias As A Female CEO

Proactive Career Management:

The quickest way to lose control is to wait for someone else’s actions before you think up your reaction. To overcome gender bias, a good percentage of female leaders attribute their success to proactively managing their careers. 

So speak up about your long-term goals, express your ambitions regularly so no one will doubt your commitment, or take you for a pushover.

Confidently Negotiate For Yourself:

No doubt, women take their careers very seriously given all they have to face. The confidence with which you discuss and negotiate work-related tasks should also be used in negotiating for yourself.

Being bold is critical to cementing the persona you want to portray to your peers and your organization as a whole.

Build your Network:

Both internal and external networks are key to overcoming bias as a CEO. Having advisers or joining a board against bias in your field can also increase your advocates.

Wrap up

In the organizational change filters from the top. To make the workplace more gender-inclusive, they must lead by example and walk the talk, followed by equal opportunity and treatment within the company. They can achieve this by offering equal pay, mentoring, support, and empowerment.

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