Here’s How to Close the Female Leadership Gap – for Good
Despite all the progress women have made in the workplace, they are still struggling to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as men.
New data from LinkedIn shows that women hold just 32 percent of leadership positions worldwide. In addition, the share of women in leadership positions has only increased 1 percent since 2016.
The research also revealed that women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions, even in industries where female representation is comparatively high. For example, women make up two-thirds of entry-level healthcare workers and nearly three-quarters of education employees. Yet, less than 50 percent of women hold C-suite positions in those same industries.
Catherine Fisher, a career expert at LinkedIn explained, “This is due to a lot of factors. [One being] women still take on a disproportionate level of caretaking responsibilities and there are still lingering biases that continue to hold women back from reaching their full potential.”
So how do we start to close the gender leadership gap?
According to Fisher, women can continue focusing on “skill-building, learning to showcase those skills and how they’ve demonstrated them, and to continue to invest in growing their networks.”
Stephanie Ruhle, an NBC News senior business analyst and host of “The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle” also shared her top tips for women looking to rise in the leadership ranks.
“There are all sorts of barriers. Don’t focus on the negatives, push into the positives,” said Ruhle. “Authenticity is key. It’s not sustainable to be anything but yourself. And it is a goal to be the best version of yourself. Be excellent at your job, and build your relationships.”
The LinkedIn data also showed that often women feel less confident than men in pushing for a promotion, new opportunity or a pay raise. That’s why, according to Fisher, women should get more comfortable articulating their worth. “Keep track of your specific successes and impact within your organization so you can make a strong case for yourself when you do go in to ask [for a raise or promotion],” she said.
In addition to women taking on the bulk of caregiving responsibilities – on top of their professional work – it’s also more common for women to take career breaks in comparison to men. According to a LinkedIn survey from last year, 64 percent of women have taken a career break, and many of those women worry about the perceived stigma attached to returning to the workforce.