The report titled, ‘Moving the Needle for Women Leaders’ states that women now hold just over 25 per cent of all leadership positions globally
While gender diversity and empowering women talent is and will be one of the biggest agendas driving business strategies, a recent report by LinkedIn says that more women now hold leadership positions in businesses than ever. The report titled, ‘Moving the Needle for Women Leaders’ states that women now hold just over 25 per cent of all leadership positions globally.
While the United States and Canada have the highest percentage of women in leadership, with one third holding roles— director-level and above— the report reveals that India has displayed the best improvement in female leadership hiring, with a 25 per cent change between 2008 and 2016. Spain represents the least change, with female leadership hiring increasing by just three per cent. Not so surprising though, the report also states that one role that women across the globe hold more or less equal to the men is that of a CHRO. On the other hand, there has been a seven per cent decline in female hires in the role of a chief information officer.
That said, there is still a huge gap that needs to be addressed. While businesses are making some progress with female representation, a closer look at the gender leadership gap reveals surprising results —namely between the number of women in the workforce and the number of women in leadership positions. The report shares the functions where women are thriving and where they still face some barriers.
Sales roles have the worst leadership gap at 11 per cent, with 38 per cent of women being hired into the workforce, but only 27 per cent reaching leadership roles. At the other end of the scale is HR with the best representation of women at 66 per cent, and 61 per cent of them reaching leadership roles—a gap of just five per cent. And while engineering has fewer women in the workforce at 18 per cent, the gender leadership gap is small, with 15 per cent of the women in the workforce being hired into leadership positions.
Among other barriers, the report mentions that a lack of self-confidence is one of the major hurdles women face in their journey towards leadership roles. Women are 31 per cent more likely than men to question whether they have what it takes to advance in a leadership position and 19 per cent more likely than men to feel uninspired by their day-to-day work. In addition, they are 61 per cent more likely than men to have a spouse with a job as or more intense than theirs, and blame the social setups. They are also five times more likely to be the primary parent.
Lastly, the report suggests five ways to encourage women to get into the right mindset by:
– ensuring sufficient training, coaching, and discussion of goals and career ambitions;
– clearly outlining criteria for success and how they can meet them;
– giving women the opportunity to stretch in their current roles;
– encouraging a genuine personal connection;
– providing direct encouragement to reach top management.