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In recent decades, there have been calls for greater gender equality while enhancing the need to close the gender wage gap. Although tremendous strides have been made in this aspect, there is still a fundamental lack of women in leadership roles.

If you take a look at the Fortune 500 list in America, you’ll see that 15% of the CEOs are women. The companies that boast a higher representation of women on their boards outperform the organizations that don’t by a notable degree. 

This is further supported by studies that have outlined that have also outlined that companies with greater gender diversity, not just within their workforce but directly among senior leaders, are significantly more profitable than those without.

This clearly demonstrates that the need for more female leaders has never been more critical. When you consider this and the never-ending catalog of data that supports this claim, it simply doesn’t seem right that there are so few women in leadership. 

Organizations have a responsibility to create better policies and opportunities for women. Still, at the same time, women also need support to step forward and overcome the habits holding them back.

  • How Many Women are in Top Management Positions?
  • What Stops Women from Attaining Top Strategic Management Positions?
  • What are the Main Challenges for Female Leaders?
  • How is the Percentages of Women in VP Positions and Management?
  • Why is it Important to Have More Women in Leadership in the Workplace?
  • What is the Most Female Dominated Profession?
  • Why are Women Less Likely to CEO?
  • Why are Women Overlooked for Promotion?
  • Do Female CEOs Perform Better?
  • What is the Highest Paying Female-dominated Industry?

How Many Women are in Top Management Positions?

Women have worked their way through the ranks of the professional world to represent well over half of the US workforce. Yet, they continue to hold a vastly smaller percentage of leadership positions than men in various sectors.

Read Also: Limitations of Strategic Management

For women of color, the climb to be equally represented in leadership roles has been even more laggard. While today’s statistics about women in leadership show improvement from years past, there’s much more work to be done.

  • Women represent 58.4% of the US workforce as of September 2022 but only held 35% of senior leadership positions
  • According to one study, companies with women executives are 30% more likely to outperform other companies
  • 8.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women
  • Less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women of color
  • Women represent 50.5% of medical students in the United States but only account for 36.3% of doctors as of 2019
  • Women account for 54.5% of first-year law students but only represent 37.4% of lawyers in the United States as of 2020

General Women In Leadership Statistics

  • As of 2020, 35% of top management positions are held by women. This is despite the fact that women make up more than half of the workforce in the United States as of 2021.
  • As of 2022, women hold 8.8% of leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies. There are a total of 41 women running businesses on the Fortune 500 list, an all-time high. In 2021, two Black women were running Fortune 500 companies for the first time ever, Roz Brew at Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett at TIAA.
  • One research study found that the two biggest challenges keeping women from leadership positions are that women are held to higher standards (43%) and many businesses aren’t “ready” to hire women for top executive positions (43%). Other cited challenges included family responsibilities not leaving enough time for running a major corporation (23%), women don’t have access to the same kind of connections as men (20%), and women being less likely to ask for promotions and raises (18%).
  • Women make up 27% of the 117th United States Congress. This translates to 144 women out of 539 seats across both the House of Representatives and the Senate. While this is a 50% increase from the previous decade, it’s still far from representing the full percentage of the female population.

Women have forged their way into the professional and political world over the past fifty years. Today, around 54% of the US workforce is female, but it’s still slow-going when it comes to female presence in leadership positions.

While there’s been growth in the percentage of female leaders, they still occupy a drastically smaller percentage of these roles. This rings even more true for women of color.

The Fortune 500 presents a clear example of the glacial pace that female growth leadership is moving. The Fortune 500 is a list put out every year that ranks the top 500 largest United States companies. It basically outlines the biggest and the best American corporations by revenue.

Over 90% of these esteemed companies are run by men – leaving 8.8% of them run by women in general and less than 1% led by women of color. Even more astonishing is that this is a record-breaking high for female leadership at Fortune 500 companies. That 1%, or two women of color leaders, is the most that any Fortune 500 company has ever seen.

These low percentages are true across much of the corporate world. While white men account for 62% of C-suite roles, white women hold 20%, men of color hold 13%, and women of color only hold 4% of these high-level positions.

There’s also a pretty large discrepancy in the percentage of female higher education students and women who end up actually involved with the professional field. For example, over half of all American medical students are women, but only 36.3% of doctors are female as of 2019.

This is true of the legal realm as well, in which 54.5% of first-year law students are women, but only 37.4% of lawyers end up being female.

Women also tend to be paid much less than men when they have the same educational qualifications. For instance, women who hold a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $58,938 per year, compared to men with a bachelor’s who bring in a median salary of $88,447.

On average, men with the same level of education are making 40% more than their female equivalent.

While record-breaking improvements have been made in female leadership, the magnitude of these developments shows that there’s much more work to be done before the playing field is leveled.

What Stops Women from Attaining Top Strategic Management Positions?

1. Economic Barriers

A World Bank’s research released in January 2020 demonstrates the state of women’s legal economic rights around the world. “Although significant progress has been made recently, women still face barriers to entrepreneurship and employment. In fact, on average around the world women have only three-quarters of the legal economic rights granted to men” state the study’s authors.

The World Bank has analyzed eight indicators that affect women’s economic empowerment at different stages of life: mobility, the workplace, wages, marital status, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and retirement. In the research, Ukraine ranks 95th with a score of 78.8, along with Tajikistan, Vietnam and Rwanda. For comparison, Poland has a score of 93.8, and Russia — 73.1.

2. Corporate Stereotype

For years, the realities of our corporate sphere have exacerbated the problem of women’s professional lag. The reasons for such a situation are several systemic problems. First, it is a distinct bias in the process of selection and development of potential management staff. Second, women have significant difficulty communicating with their senior management.

Third, there is the phenomenon of the “glass ceiling” — a term from American management, introduced in the early 1980s to describe an invisible barrier that limits the promotion of the ladder. This form of discrimination is described as “a barrier so invisible that it is transparent but at the same time so thorough that it prevents women and members of different social groups from advancing in the management hierarchy.”

According to his research, the famous English sociologist E. Oakley identifies the following barriers in women’s careers:

  • lack of management experience;
  • unequal career growth opportunities;
  • differences in communication styles and socialization;
  • gender stereotypes;
  • closed social networks of men in the top management;

From the standpoint of my own 15 years of management experience, I can say that for our business environment, all these factors are more than real and significant.

3. Psychological Barriers

If you are a woman in management, you must be able to work under stress, use psychological qualities that allow you to expand your own capabilities.

We all have many inner barriers. First, it is the framework of social stereotypes and our own beliefs about ourselves. Since childhood, we hear from our mothers and sisters – be a good girl, study well, behave well, help others. And it doesn’t always shape the personality traits that help women become successful in big business.

There are a number of psychological traits — signs that often prevent women from being effective managers. This is primarily kindness, emotionality, a tendency to doubt our actions, lack of criticism, conflict avoidance that prevail in business behavior and prevent us from making unpopular decisions or earning our place in the corporate world.

At the same time, women have a whole set of traits that help them be successful in management. They are very persistent, open to new experiences, hardworking, energetic, responsible, sociable and organized.

One of KPMG’s researches shows that there are factors that are essential to a woman’s business success. Those are an active personal network of contacts, strong communication skills, understanding of new technologies, strong connections within the company, and willingness to make unpopular decisions. Women should put systematic efforts and persistently develop these skills.

4. Prejudices and stereotypes

Are there any business biases against women? I’m certain they exist, particularly for women managers. Such women are often perceived as a model of a mother. Even a professional manager in the perception of many men takes good care of her employees. But as for the business as a whole, there is a lot of doubt on the part of men whether she can really run it effectively.

Or the manager is perceived simply as a beautiful woman who holds a manager’s position as a so-called “mascot”, a person who brings good luck to business, but not the one who manages it. Or another very lasting prejudice that a woman in management is a very cruel, so-called “iron lady”, more of a robot than a person.

5. Inner Barriers and Social Boundaries

Our own beliefs and perceptions of ourselves are extremely strong tools and can sometimes be an insurmountable obstacle to success and career advancement. There is an expression “What you believe — you deserve. What you believe — is a limit”. In order to go beyond the limits of our own ideas about ourselves, women need to change the beliefs that limit their development and self-identification.

Now and then they have to go beyond an unchanging and normal environment. At some point, people realize that they have become too big a fish for a small pond. It is reasonable to assume that at this moment it’s time to move to a larger pond with smarter and bigger fish. In such an environment the status will be slightly lower, but it gives the room to grow and it presents an area of optimal experience to strive to.

6. Limits of Competence

What is the limit of knowledge? The higher one rises in the hierarchy and competence, the more critical does cognitive flexibility become. That is, the ability to adapt to a new environment, to absorb new knowledge, the ability to make hard decisions. In fact, managers often have to jump above their heads. Where, how and with whom to jump is a challenging question that our women must answer with all perseverance and creativity.

The point is to create an atmosphere of teamwork in a safe environment, moving away from constant competition, and keeping the team from stress. At the same time, a person should avoid positions for which one is not yet ready, so as not to fall into the trap of incompetence — a position should be suitable for achieving maximum success as a manager.

What are the Main Challenges for Female Leaders?

As we’ve established, the working landscape is changing, and the business world is no longer just a man’s game. However, competing in this challenging environment is no walk in the park. 

From experienced women leaders who have been making strides in this debate for years gone by to the upcoming young talent looking to make a serious impact, women in leadership still face numerous challenges.

Men are still the majority

The first and most obvious challenge is that most of the people in the room are men. However, this creates an opportunity for women to stand out and create a long-lasting impression from the off.

Difficulty in creating supportive networks

A scenario that appears time and time again revolves around building a supportive network in a space where males dominate. Use this chance to seek both men and women as connections and mentors who will help you along your career path.

Balance work and family aren’t easy

In the working world, women do not only deal with the stress of a full-time job, but they’re often also responsible for raising families. At times, it may seem impossible to juggle your work and personal life, but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of creating a healthy work-life balance. 

Expectations of women are often lower

The sad nature for a lot of women is that expectations can often be set lower. The trick is not to see this in poor light but to change your vision and realize it’s easier to exceed your goals and showcase why you shouldn’t be overlooked.

Women are characterized as emotional

Unfortunately, we as women are often perceived as being more emotional and less decisive than men, yet women bring more diverse physical, mental and emotional experiences to everyday conversations. Use this to your advantage by bringing a fresh perspective to the table. 

How is the Percentages of Women in VP Positions and Management?

In 2021, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 31%, the highest number ever recorded.

Ninety percent of companies worldwide have at least one woman in a senior management role as of 2021.

Women’s senior leadership roles are also shifting.

While women leaders are still more likely to be HR directors compared to other roles, this proportion has decreased from 2020 to 2021. In the same time frame, the proportion of women in other leadership roles like CEO, Chief Finance Officer, and Chief Information Officer has increased.

  • In 2021, 26% of all CEOs and managing directors were women, compared to only 15% in 2019.
  • The Fortune Global 500 reported an all-time high of 23 women CEOs in 2021, including six women of color.
RegionPercentage of Women in Senior Management (2021)
Southeast Asia (ASEAN)38%
Latin America36%
European Union34%
North America33%
Asia Pacific (APAC)28%

The Higher Up the Corporate Ladder, the Fewer Women

A 2020 analysis by Mercer of over 1,100 organizations across the world found a leaky pipeline for women in leadership:

  • Executives: 23%
  • Senior managers: 29%
  • Managers: 37%
  • Professionals: 42%
  • Support staff: 47%

It is worth mentioning that in Africa the proportion of women in leadership positions has improved significantly – from 29% in 2017 to 39% in 2021. Africa seems to be a region with consistent positive performance in women’s leadership as the year-on-year increase over the last years was about 7%.

The European Union has also seen a rise in the proportion of women in leadership positions. The increase is 4 points from 2020 to 2021 and 8 points from 2017 to 2021. Africa, as we mentioned above leads the way. The European Union holds the 4th position.

The second-best performance belongs to ASEAN where the proportion of women in leadership positions increased from 35% in 2020 to 38% in 2021. This region has large fluctuations from year to year. For example, in 2017 the proportion of women in senior management positions was 36%, it increased to 39% in 2018, it had a significant fall in 2019 (28%) and reached again a high level (35%) in 2020.

Third on the list is Latin America. This region had a large dip in 2019 when the proportion of women in senior management positions fell to 25% from 30% in 2018 but fortunately managed to cover the gap. So, in 2020 had a rise reaching 33%.

This good performance continues in 2021 with the proportion of women in senior management positions being estimated to 36%. As far the European Union is concerned the percentages between 2017 and 2021 may be lower than the regions mentioned above but the most important is that they have a continuing rise all these years.

The 5th position belongs to North America. North America managed to increase its proportion from 23% in 2017 to 33% in 2021. The region’s lowest rate was in 2018 when it reached 21%. The next year increased to 31%, only to fall again to 29% in 2020. APAC region is the last one in the list with the proportion of women in senior management positions varying between 25% in 2017 and 28% in 2021.

Its lowest point was in 2018 (23%). The region’s improvement since 2017 stands at three percentage points, with 2021 returning its proportion of women in senior management to the level seen in 2019, after a minor dip in 2020.

Why is it Important to Have More Women in Leadership in the Workplace?

In today’s world, women may not always realize their potential, and once unleashed, they have a direct route to success. When they find themselves in a leadership role, their capability and abilities are undeniable. However, it’s simple to claim this, so that establishes the need to outline multiple benefits women can bring to leadership roles.

1. Women leaders will paint the future

It can be daunting for women who have not yet been in a position of leadership to take on such a high-profile role due to the stigmas attached to it. This could push away the younger generation from striving to break down barriers.

In 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29%. This remained constant in 2020 and grew to 31% in 2021, the highest number ever recorded. While this can be considered positive news, women just entering the workforce will need to be inspired by other women who are currently smashing their roles as a leader in the workplace. Once achieved, it can carve a direction for all young aspiring women leaders to increase the global percentage and break new records.

2. Unique transformational ideas will be brought to the front

A meta-analysis comparing male and female leaders identified female leaders were more transformational. They demonstrated more contingent reward behavior than the two-dimensional actions (active and passive management) presented by male leadership. 

This transformational leadership style has been shown to build social and personal identification amongst members and also build the mission and goals set out by leadership and organizations. This demonstrates a clear positive influence on the success of an organization and its employees. 

3. The enhancement of teamwork

There is no doubt that we’ve all seen women demonstrate passion, enthusiasm and a capability to take command of a situation when need be (let’s not look further than our own mothers or female caregivers in this instance).

Women are able to make bold and wise decisions as leaders; this helps make the team environment less authoritative and more cooperative, bringing a family-like feel to the team. This boosts teamwork across the organization and helps implement a new culture within the business.

4. Women demonstrate superior leadership values

A national survey by the Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends survey ranked 2,250 adult women as better than or equal to men in seven of the eight primary leadership traits assessed throughout the survey.

The key statistics from this survey outline that half of the respondents ranked women as more honest than men, with 20% saying that men are more honest than women. In terms of intelligence, 38% said they viewed women as smarter, with only 14% indicating men are smarter. For the other cases, women were ranked as being more compassionate, outgoing and creative.

5. Business-wide communication can be enhanced

Communication is said and known to be among a woman’s strongest skills. Female leaders will utilize this power to enhance meaningful conversations with employers, co-workers and partners, thus creating an open communication stream that creates a sense of clarity.

6. Achieve a better financial outcome

Within a more diverse workplace, it’s likely that more creative ideas will be presented. This helps fuel growth and create more sustainability within an organization. Diversity in the workplace should not just prioritize women but, instead, have a fluid combination of both genders throughout the organization.

Workplace gender diversity helps increase productivity, and creativity, improves performance and staff retention, and, as established, boosts collaboration throughout the business. In a workplace study, 21% of businesses are more likely to experience above-average profitability if the workforce is gender-diverse.

7. Fresh new outlooks and perspectives

We have outlined the need to construct a diverse workforce, and with this will come new experiences and perspectives that ultimately contribute to bringing some much-needed innovation into the business.

Women leaders will bring skills, different perspectives, and innovative ideas to the table, but these three combined will help create innovative perspectives that lead to better decision-making as a whole for the business.

8. Women leaders can provide better mentorship

Especially for the younger generation, the power of role models cannot be overlooked. Regardless of a person’s gender, all people need someone who will guide them to progress in their careers. Women can harness their talents in this area because, specifically, for mentoring and coaching young talent, women leaders are better mentors than men.

According to a study, 29% of women believe that their gender will be an obstacle to advancement. To overcome this obstacle, women in leadership positions can take this opportunity and begin empowering the bright young minds of the next generation.

9. The ability to wear many hats

In a woman’s life, wearing different hats within their roles is a common occurrence. You can often find them balancing careers, and households and taking up the mantel of parental guidance along with many other experiences. These help women leaders to quickly adjust to new situations and focus on finding solutions to real-life work issues.

10. Women in leadership roles can close the gender pay gap

Something that can often be overlooked is that the gender pay gap can be transformed into a gender opportunity gap. It has been seen that when males and females start their progress from scratch, men are usually offered more opportunities leading to higher-paying positions.

However, employing more women in leadership roles can not only provide the benefits we’ve listed already but, instead, help achieve a wider goal and close the pay gap more effectively.

What is the Most Female Dominated Profession?

Gender segregation is a norm in the labor market. Some sectors are solely dominated by men, while women dominate others. Here, we will take a look at the jobs dominated by women.

Women’s key role in society has ensured nations’ stability, progress, and development throughout history. For example, they worked as nurses, plane mechanics, truck drivers, and shipbuilders to free up men for the fight during World War II. Fast forward to now, and women continue to flourish in every field imaginable.

Yet, while certain occupations have become more integrated, others remain overwhelmingly male or female-dominated. Below, we’ll look at the 10 fields where women are in charge. These are referred to as “pink-collar fields” by economists, and while the pink-collar sector is booming, the earnings are stagnant.

1. Preschool and kindergarten teachers

  • Female workforce: 97.6 percent
  • Median pay: $29,780 (preschool) and $57,980 (kindergarten)
  • Requirements: Associate degree (preschool) and bachelor’s degree (kindergarten)

Early childhood educators play a pivotal role in caring for and educating kids. They typically work a 10-month school year (though some positions are year-round) and usually work in a public or private school or childcare center.

Job growth for preschool teachers is projected to increase by seven percent by 2028, which is faster than the average growth among all jobs. The BLS predicts this is due to the increasingly important role early childhood education and development plays in our society.

2. Dental hygienists

  • Female workforce: 97.1 percent
  • Median pay: $74,820
  • Requirements: Associate degree

Getting your teeth cleaned? You’re likely to make an appointment with a dental hygienist. A dental hygienist provides patients with preventative care, examining the mouth for signs of oral disease in the process.

Dental hygiene programs typically take three years to complete, and hygienists must be licensed in the state in which they work. The job outlook for dental hygiene is positive due to the country’s increased aging population and the growing amount of research pointing to the importance of good oral care.

3. Speech-language pathologists

  • Female workforce: 96 percent
  • Median pay: $77,510
  • Requirements: Master’s degree

The projected job growth for speech-language pathologists is the highest on this list — it is expected to grow at least 27 percent by 2028. That’s because speech pathologists not only work with kids who have difficulty communicating, but they also work with adults who might have speech or language impairments as a result of a stroke, dementia, and other health conditions. 

Speech-language pathologists typically need a master’s degree and state license before they can start practicing.

4. Dental assistants

  • Female workforce: 96 percent
  • Median pay: $38,660
  • Requirements: Varies

Besides pay, the biggest difference between dental assistants and dental hygienists is that dental assistants directly support dentists. They might handle office tasks, such as scheduling appointments; perform basic dental care, such as polishing a patient’s teeth; or prep patients for various procedures.

The educational requirements to become a dental assistant are also less rigorous than that of a dental hygienist. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program, while other states do not have any educational prerequisites at all. Instead, you would learn on the job.

5. Childcare workers

  • Female workforce: 94 percent
  • Median pay: $23,240
  • Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Childcare workers work in a variety of settings, including daycare centers, a private household, and sometimes even their own homes. Duties include dressing, feeding, monitoring playtime, and overall caring for children. Typically, no formal education is required, but sometimes positions call for an early childhood education degree depending on the place of employment.

6. Secretaries and administrative assistants

  • Female workforce: 94 percent
  • Median pay: $38,880
  • Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Secretaries and administrative assistant jobs exist in nearly every industry, though you’ll find the most positions in schools, hospitals, and government and legal offices. Typically, a high school diploma is required as well as several weeks of job training.

The general job growth for secretaries and administrative assistant positions isn’t as promising as some of the other professions on this list. That could be due, in part, to the automation of these jobs. However, the BLS predicts there’ll likely be an increased need for medical secretaries over the next 10 years as aging baby boomers start to require more medical attention.

7. Medical records & health information technicians

  • Female workforce: 93.6 percent
  • Median pay: $40,350
  • Requirements: Post-secondary certificate

Medical records & health information technicians spend much of their time behind a computer. They organize, manage, and code patients’ health records for insurance reimbursements, various databases and registries, and patient medical history records. Sometimes these jobs can be done remotely, and typically, a bachelor’s degree isn’t required for these positions.

Like other health-related professions on this list, the need for medical records & health information technicians is expected to grow as the country’s baby-boomer population continues to age.

8. Dietitians and nutritionists 

  • Female workforce: 93.1 percent
  • Median pay: $60,370
  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Dietitians and nutritionists aim to help people eat better and live healthy lifestyle. They can work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and nursing homes to cafeterias and state governments. They can also help clients prevent and treat common diseases, including diabetes.

Dietitians and nutritionists typically need a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition (or a related degree), and many go on to secure more advanced degrees as well.

9. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 

  • Female workforce: 92.1 percent
  • Median pay: $24,830
  • Requirements: Post-secondary certificate

Women make up a large majority of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists. Typically, these jobs are available in a barbershop or salon, but there’s also an opportunity to offer these services in clients’ homes. You can work for a larger company, or you can start your own business; there’s a lot of flexibility in this field.

All states require these professionals to be licensed. This means you would need a degree from a state-approved barber or cosmetology program.

10. Medical assistants

  • Female workforce: 90.6 percent
  • Median pay: $33,610
  • Requirements: Post-secondary certificate

This is the second-fastest-growing profession on the list, behind speech-language pathology, also due to the aging baby-boomer population’s need for increased medical services.

The difference between a medical assistant and a medical records & health information tech is that medical assistants typically work in a hospital, physician’s office, or other healthcare facilities (versus in an office or from home, behind a computer).

These positions typically do not require a formal degree and call for less specialized knowledge about coding and medical software programs. A medical assistant also likely works directly with patients, taking vital signs and giving immunizations. They may also complete paperwork and carry out standard office procedures.

Why are Women Less Likely to CEO?

What causes these big differences in the career trajectories of women and men?

Just like other workers, CEOs’ careers unfold within a labor market, with the usual components of demand and supply. That is, companies demand—and pay for—CEO labor. In turn, CEOs supply—and are paid for—that labor.

Unfortunately, many discriminatory factors reduce the demand for female CEOs. For one thing, women are subject to gender stereotypes. The stereotypical qualities of effective leaders—such as aggression, ambition, and dominance—tend to overlap with the stereotypical qualities of men more than women.

As a result, men are often considered natural leaders when they exhibit traits like aggression, whereas women displaying these same qualities might be penalized for appearing “unfeminine.”

Another problem is women are the victims of in-group favoritism. People tend to evaluate others who are similar to them more favorably. This bias hurts women because nearly 80% of board members in large U.S. public companies are men. These are the people responsible for hiring and paying CEOs, after all.

Regarding supply-side forces, there simply are fewer women at these senior levels because of social factors. For example, women perform more family duties than men do. And the need for maternity leave and absences to care for sick children hurts women’s careers.

In addition, women experience different socialization processes than men. Even as children, males tend to receive more encouragement to lead, compete, and take risks than females do. As a result, men often have more opportunities to develop these skills, which also may help them ascend and succeed in CEO positions.

Why are Women Overlooked for Promotion?

According to the “Women in the Workplace” study, for every hundred men hired or promoted to a higher position, only 72 women are promoted and hired for the same role. The statistics for women of color are lower, with just 68 Latina women and 58 black women being promoted to manager positions for every 100 entry-level men who are promoted to the same job.

Today, nearly 60% of bachelor’s and master’s degrees are awarded to women, suggesting there is no shortage of qualified women entering the pipeline, yet this percentage is not represented in the promotion to top positions.

It is very disheartening and hurtful for female employees who put in the hours and have the necessary skills and experience for a managerial role, to get passed over for promotions. What hurts, even more, is that these women often lose out to a male counterpart who may not be their equal on the basis of skillset, agility, or experience.

When these women do not feel like they receive the recognition they deserve in the workplace many of them sink into a depression, and display less commitment to the organization, some even leave the company while others work even harder to prove their worth.

Men have been advantaged over women in a lot of subtle ways in the workforce. The most obvious explanation for this is gender bias against women. The belief that men are slightly more capable or competent than women is still alive, prevalent, and pervasive in corporate culture and this notion impacts the decision-making of higher-ups.

Women are faced with unconscious bias and limited workplace support, and even the most ambitious women may feel that making it to the top can seem like an out-of-reach goal.

Unfortunately, this bias starts way before women even apply for a promotion. There is a long-standing culture where women in the workforce are often being bestowed with adjectives like ‘nurturing’ and ‘helpful’, while men receive stronger descriptors like ‘confident’ and ‘ambitious’.

This can result in stronger excellent recommendations for male candidates and significantly fewer good recommendation letters for female employees. This perpetuates that female strengths are less valuable than male traits and, consequently there will be no attempt to change the business world to a more gender-intelligent or gender-equal space.

Do Female CEOs Perform Better?

Can you believe that of the 500 companies in the S&P 500, 94% OF THEM have a male CEO?! Imagine if this was in reverse and 94% of companies were run by women. That would seem shocking, but it is no less shocking than having men run 94%.

The 32 companies that have women as CEOs have significantly outperformed the companies run by men. Over the past 10 years, the difference in returns is 384% from female-led companies vs. 261% from male-led companies. A few notable companies with women CEOs are GM, UPS, Citigroup, and CVS.

Not all of these companies had a woman as CEO for all of the last 10 years. BUT, the type of company that would appoint a woman as CEO is more likely to have been forward-thinking even before bringing her on. Also, if you compared these companies to JUST the period when they all had a female CEO, the women-led companies STILL outperform the male-led companies (and the overall market as well!).

Are we saying to buy women-led companies as a way to outperform the market? No, we have no idea what will happen in the future.

We are hopeful that this gender imbalance will change in the near future and all forms of diversity will be prevalent at the highest levels of leadership. The change needs to be accelerated. This post is our small way of shining a spotlight on this issue and trying to help balance the scales a little bit faster.

If you are a woman who is looking to take on a leadership role, GO FOR IT. If you have any doubts, ask yourself if a man would ever have those same doubts. We need more female leaders out there and nothing proves that women are less capable than men.

What is the Highest Paying Female-dominated Industry?

The existence of the gender wage gap is well known. On average, women who work full-time earn 82% of what their male colleagues do, according to the American Association of University Women. However, it doesn’t mean that women have to settle for lower wages.

They could take steps to identify the size of the wage gap in their current positions and negotiate better pay. Or they could focus on getting jobs in higher-paying fields — especially in occupations where they outnumber men and might have more negotiating power.

Read Also: Does Workplace Diversity Play an Important Role in Productivity?

To locate those jobs, GOBankingRates analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Labor to find all the occupations in which women outnumber men. The results were narrowed by determining the jobs where median earnings for women exceed $47,788, which are the median earnings of full-time workers in the U.S.

1. Nurse Anesthetists

  • Percentage of women in occupation: 59.6%
  • Median earnings for women: $160,297

A nurse anesthetist is a highest-paying job for women on this list. To become one and start providing anesthetics to patients, you must first become a registered nurse and then enter a nurse anesthesia program, which typically takes almost three years to complete. The median salary for women in this job is three times higher than the median U.S. earnings of full-time workers.

2. Pharmacists

  • Percentage of women in occupation: 52.9%
  • Median earnings for women: $120,173

Becoming a pharmacist requires a doctorate, which takes four years to earn. However, the job typically comes with a six-figure salary, and earnings for women and men in this occupation are almost equal. Female pharmacists make 98% of what their male colleagues earn.

3. Nurse Practitioners

  • Percentage of women in occupation: 88.1%
  • Median earnings for women: $100,914

To become a nurse practitioner, you need to earn a master’s degree, become licensed and pass a national certification exam. It’s one of just three jobs on GOBankingRates’ list where the median salary for women tops $100,000. Additionally, women come closer to making equal pay as nurse practitioners than in many other occupations.

4. Physician Assistants

  • Percentage of women in occupation: 65.7%
  • Median earnings for women: $97,549

Physician assistants work with doctors and surgeons to help provide medical care for patients. The job typically requires a master’s degree. The median salary for women in this occupation is more than double the national median.

5. Veterinarians

  • Percentage of women in occupation: 59.9%
  • Median earnings for women: $86,815

To become a veterinarian, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in veterinary medicine, which can take four years to complete. But the additional education can pay off in a big way. Being a veterinarian is one of the highest-paying jobs for women.

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