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Organizations Falling Short in Gender Diversity for Senior Roles

December 21, 2016 | John Salustri

A recent Gallup poll tracks some interesting trends among women in the workplace. And clearly, while there have been advancements in business in terms of female advancement, there is still room for improvement.

According to an article in the Gallup Business Journal, “Do Women Want the C-Suite?” by Jane Miller and Amy Adkins, 43% of all managers in the US are women. But this is largely in middle management posts, and quoting Grant Thornton research, Gallup reports that this year, “women account for 23% of US senior management roles--a two-percentage point increase” from the year before.

Clearly a disparity exists between those who are in senior positions and the 45% of women who claim they want to be CEOs or take other senior-leadership chairs. (For the record, 54% of men surveyed said the same.) And this is no pipe dream. Gallup says women are just as serious as men about getting a seat in the C-Suite--to the tune of roughly 70% of respondents.

“These findings are notable for businesses,” the report says. “Organizations need to support women who have the necessary qualifications to fill senior-level roles. Nearly half of working women say they want to achieve these higher-level roles, and the vast majority are highly determined to get there. Furthermore, being a working mother does not prevent a woman from wanting to reach the C-suite.”

In fact, the report states that 40% of working mothers claim a preference for working outside the home rather than taking care of the house and family. “Leaders and managers should not assume that they know what their female employees' career goals are,” warn Miller and Adkins. “They should get to know each one as an individual and ask her about her preferences and comfort level related to hours, travel and relocation.”

And don’t expect them to flinch in the face of adversity. Nearly every woman polled said she was willing to tackle the typical expectations of higher-management positions. These include the long hours, working in a competitive culture and extensive travel.

About the Author
John Salustri is editor-in-chief of Salustri Content Solutions, Inc., a consultancy focused on enhancing the web and print content of clients around the nation. He is a regular contributor to JPM Magazine and a frequent blogger for IREM’s website. Prior to launching SCS, John was founding editor of GlobeSt.com, the industry’s premier real estate news website, where he managed the daily output of 25 international reporters, and prior to that, he was editor of Real Estate Forum Magazine. John is a four-time winner of the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ Award for Excellence in Journalism.

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