Ch. 7: Women as Leaders
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XI: Women in Leadership


Summary

This chapter includes the research on the status of women in leadership positions. While progress was made in the representation of women in leadership roles, they remained grossly underrepresented in high level management positions. The literature also indicated that stereotypical roles, expectations and perceptions continued as barriers for women's advancement in leadership roles. Moreover, research reveals that obstacles such as work life balance, lack of networking opportunities and the paucity of mentoring programs all contributed to female underrepresentation in high-level management.
Worldwide, women continue their fight for gender equality. Women account for nearly 50% of the workforce, yet they are often shut out of executive leadership positions (McKinsey & Company, 2015). Clearly, women qualify for C-suite positions. However, gender bias and stereotypes prevent them from piercing the glass ceiling. Too often women who achieve leadership positions find themselves on the glass cliff. Women are competent visionary relationship builders who embody trust and integrity as components of their leadership. The challenge for Corporate America is to embrace a more holistic approach toward management that encompasses, gender parity, and soft as well as hard business skills.
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