It’s pretty hard to be supportive of other women when you are literally the only woman in the room.
Well, neither are men supportive of each other, very much, at that point. It’s cutthroat at that level. Plenty of candidates, not too many jobs. VP’s in their 40’s and 50’s who get passed over for the C suite end up at other companies.
This is my first in a series of posts on Medium where I hope to start a conversation about what we — both men and women — can do to continue to expose and dismantle the obstacles that keep women from holding 50% of the jobs in tech, and 50% of the C-suite.
The primary obstacle for tech is when majors are chosen in college. I am a woman who hires in tech, and when 4–10% of my applicants are women, it seems logical to me that 4–10% of my hires will be women. I’ll be damned if I’m going to hire a less qualified candidate just to check a diversity box. That would be irresponsible to my customers, who trust me with big bags of their money to improve their operational productivity.
On the C-Suite matter, lots of data showing that women just make different life choices than men do, and those life choices result in them disqualifying themselves from the C-suite jobs. Some of that can be mitigated by workplaces becoming more family friendly…….but if they become TOO family friendly, one starts to wonder if the leaders are taking their eye off the ball as far as their profitability goals are concerned.
C suite leaders who list accomplishments without improvements in EPS don’t remain leaders for long. For good reason.
This is not just a fundamental fairness issue. Helping women get to 50 percent representation across corporate America, as study after study has shown, is also good for every company’s bottom line. According to McKinsey’s Diversity Matters report, companies that are more gender diverse are 15 percent more likely to have better financial results than those with less diverse workforces. Furthermore, Rocío Lorenzo’s research team at Boston Consulting Group found that companies where women represent at least 20 percent of its leadership team are more innovative than those with more male-dominated teams.
There seems to be an unfounded assumption here that those better results are caused by having more women in the C-suite and in their workforces; the implication is here that women are better business managers than men. This analysis ignores the other side of the coin, however, that being that its the MEN who look for the best candidate regardless of gender are simply better leaders than men who are don’t. I suspect the latter is at least as true as the former, if not more so.
It’s not a woman’s issue…or a man’s issue…it’s a leadership issue
Certainly true, that.
I won’t be satisfied until we reach 50/50 across the company, and eventually, in every department.
Well, that’s your perogative, but if that’s such an important goal for you, I wouldn’t touch your stock with a 10-foot pole. I want to own shares in companies who are focused on improving earnings per share, period. Eye on the ball, none of this “we can walk and chew gum at the same time” nonsense.
Improvements in gender balance should occur organically because obstacles in front of women are removed, starting at the educational level, and not because the CEO is on a social justice mission.