The success of women in business is a topic of much debate and one that’s also been under scrutiny for years. Many people still believe that women should be in the home, while others think they shouldn’t be working at all. Even so, as more women become entrepreneurs and expand their roles outside the home, it’s important to remember that they’re just as capable of being successful as men.

According to recent research released by Harvard University, there is an increasing number of successful female business owners who have risen through the ranks and made it to executive positions—that’s something we can all celebrate!

The study found that there are now more women than men running large companies around the world. But there’s still work to do on this front; according to another report McKinsey’s 2021, only 24% of companies worldwide had at least one woman in their top three executive positions last year. And while this number increases over time, it’s still woefully low compared with other countries like Germany (where nearly 40% of companies have at least one female executive).

Challenges Faced by Women in Business

 

female employee presenting in front men in a business meeting

Some key factors that prevent women from reaching decision-making positions have been identified. Enterprise cultures that demand “anytime, anywhere” availability disproportionately affect women due to their household and family responsibilities, whereas policies that promote inclusivity and work-life balance (for both men and women), such as flexible working hours and paternity leave, need to be improved.

Another factor is the “leaky pipeline,” which refers to the tendency for the proportion of women to decrease as one rises the corporate ladder. The “glass wall” refers to the prevalence of women in positions such as human resources, finance and administration, that are perceived as less strategic and less likely to lead to CEO and boardroom positions. Only about one-third of the polled companies had reached the critical mass of one-third of female board members. One in every eight companies still has all-male boardrooms. Male CEOs oversaw more than 78% of the businesses that responded, while female CEOs were in charge of more small businesses.

Even though women are equally capable of earning and excelling in leadership positions, a legacy of workplace imbalance is gradually being corrected. “Change starts at the top” as the adage goes. Looking at the country’s most powerful corporations can be beneficial when forecasting business trends. According to Fortune 500, there will be 37 female CEOs in charge by 2020. Although this represents only 7.4% of CEOs, it represents a significant increase from just two female Fortune 500 executives in 2000.

Those gender-diverse Fortune 500 companies may have recognised the obvious business benefits. A 2019 S&P Global study found that companies with female CEOs and CFOs generate excess profits (in the trillions of dollars) and outperform the market in stock price performance. Higher profits are also associated with greater gender diversity on a company’s board of directors.

 

Women leaders are leaving their companies at the highest rate in years.

 

Women may be hired for previously reserved jobs for men due to their education. According to the Pew Research Center, by 2019, women had surpassed men in the labour force in terms of workers with a bachelor’s degree (29.5 million women to 29.3 million men). Men with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $74,900, while women with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $51,600. There is still much work to be done to close the gender wage gap. 

Women’s Importance to Leadership

Woman happy from her result in business

The good news is that, because women are now as educated as, if not more educated than, men in the workforce, there is little that can prevent them from rising to positions of leadership. Women are increasingly being sought after by organizations to provide valuable leadership qualities related to communication, which is an important component of successful business practice. Communication is just one of the soft skills that help a professional’s “emotional intelligence.” Critical thinking, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work well with others are other aspects of emotional intelligence.

Better decision-making results from emotional intelligence, which is an essential skill for leaders to have. Analysis, planning, and action all contribute to a tactical, emotionally intelligent approach that produces thoughtful outcomes. Adults in our society consistently teach girls that empathy is the essence of being female. Empathy facilitates the acquisition of new communication skills. Empathy also helps women consider multiple points of view and develop innovative business solutions.

According to Dr Shawn Andrews’ book, The Power of Perception, fewer women are in positions of leadership due to societal perceptions of leaders, rather than a lack of skills. Our culture instils in men the need to be assertive, self-assured, decisive, and competitive. Historically, these are also qualities associated with leadership, resulting in the de facto exclusion of women from leadership positions. Women have long been thought not to be “leadership material,” but this is no longer the case. Women seeking positions of leadership must continue to dispel these myths. In general, America’s gender perspective is changing, and we now have a new responsibility to socialize future generations with fewer gender assumptions.

 

Creating a Pathway for Women in Leadership

 

Business Woman

The truth is that society still accepts that women spend more time caring for children than men, making it more difficult for women to excel at work,  Finding a work-life balance as a female leader balance isn’t always easy for women who strive to build a successful career.

Since the pandemic, mothers are twice as likely as fathers to spend five or more hours a day on chores in a two-parent household where both parents work, according to McKinsey research. That is equivalent to working part-time! Not surprisingly, many women in leadership positions have discovered ways to advance their education and careers that allow them to be flexible without sacrificing quality.

Female leaders have emerged over the last forty years and are making their mark in the business world. On the other hand, inequality in the workforce leads to salary gaps and struggles for promotions. Strides have been made, but there is more work to be done.

Female managers/leaders should understand the history of inequality all around the world. They shall understand the traits of a charismatic leader as these traits could help boost their desirability within the business world.

Finally, identifying a profile of a successful female leader can help demonstrate the direction in which any female manager should head. The good news is there is support for women wanting to advance their careers and find a community of like-minded women, via the annual Women Thrive Summit that takes place virtually every March to empower women to thrive in life and career. This is one of the largest global women empowerment events for successful career-driven women. 

Women Thrive Summit event

Recommended reading

 

Check Out the Report Made by McKinsey "Women in the Workplace 2022"

Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen, and ambitious young women are prepared to do the same. To make meaningful and sustainable progress toward gender equality, companies need to go beyond table stakes. That’s according to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org.

52 Comments

  1. Mahnoor Ahmed

    Remarkable👌🏻

    Reply
    • Madison Graves

      Such an important topic, thanks for sharing!

      Reply
      • Meenal Sarin

        Remarkable!!!

        Reply
        • ilayda

          very well done!

          Reply
          • Marwa majz.

            Interesting topic
            Good job

    • Mahira

      Amazing blog really well written

      Reply
  2. Thanyarat Chansila

    very inspiring!! Well done 👍🏻

    Reply
  3. Mia

    Very important topic – thanks for the insights!

    Reply
    • Fatima

      You never fail to make us amazed by your work!

      Reply
    • Joumana

      Amazing

      Reply
    • Amira Masri

      Such an important topic 👍Good Job 😍

      Reply
    • Sophie Nader

      Very insightful and relevant!

      Reply
  4. Lauren Nader

    A highly empowering and insightful read! Such an important topic.

    Reply
  5. Bhavya Cheruvu

    This is very important for people to acknowledge at times like this. Very insightful 👏🏻

    Reply
    • Lama Merhebi

      Very inspiring and insightful topic – good job!

      Reply
    • Qusay

      A very insightful topic, Great job

      Reply
    • Anissa

      Amazing 🤩
      Wowwww

      Reply
  6. Mona

    Love it!

    Reply
  7. Judy Soufi

    Very interesting! Great job 👌

    Reply
  8. Khaled nemer

    Very interesting topic 👍🏼Great job👏🏻

    Reply
  9. Diala akkary

    What an eye opening topic!!!

    Reply
    • Joe Aoun

      A very informative breakdown on an important topic. Thank you for the insight!

      Reply
      • Jaafar

        Wowww bravoo

        Reply
      • Natalia

        Bravo 💗

        Reply
  10. Osaid

    Very insightful!!

    Reply
  11. Gazwa Basma

    A very insightful topic, love it!!

    Reply
  12. Omar

    Amazing

    Reply
  13. cyrine akkari

    woooow amaizinggggg

    Reply
  14. Sedra

    Good job!

    Reply
    • Dhahaben K

      Very Insightful and an interesting read

      Reply
  15. Dima

    Wowww

    Reply
  16. Kassem

    Amazing

    Reply
  17. Manish Bagga

    Excellent work!

    Reply
  18. Saahil

    Great stuff Mo!

    Reply
  19. Malek Haydar

    Interesting topic
    Good job

    Reply
  20. Nidal

    Good job

    Reply
  21. Ali khalil

    This is pretty cool. Wish you all the best bro❤️

    Reply
  22. Fabienne akoumi

    Good job , so interesting
    Keep going

    Reply
  23. Hiba Al Hassan

    Very nice topic! Always super proud of you!
    Good luck ❤️

    Reply
    • Sally

      A very relevant blog in these modern times. Women are now being recognised for their abilities. Good read.

      Reply
  24. Jad El Dirani

    Great blog and a very interesting topic

    Reply
  25. Martina Levantini

    Great piece Mo! It’s definitely something very relevant in our society, glad you talked about it.

    Reply
  26. Chiara Bossetti

    great job mo!

    Reply
  27. Fatima ab

    Such an interesting and insightful read , well doneee !

    Reply
  28. Maroua

    Very interesting! Great read

    Reply
  29. Adam O

    Interesting topics and I appreciate the fact that you included your sources.

    Reply
  30. Pierfrancesco

    Great topic Mou!

    Reply
  31. Maria

    Beautifully written, well done!

    Reply
  32. Mahroze

    Very interesting topic

    Reply
  33. Can

    You set an example and inspire us men. The business world needs people like you!

    Reply

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