Guest post by Georgina Stewart
Despite strides made in equality, we still struggle to see substantial amounts of women in executive or leadership positions; many view this as a shortage that needs to be tackled. However, before this issue can be resolved it’s essential to identify the factors that may be behind the reason as to why fewer women are progressing to leadership positions and discuss what could be preventing them from doing so.
One belief is that some women are being groomed for leadership positions and that very slowly more women will appear in the top roles. However, this growth appears to be quite slow, which has led to women like Moya Greene, the boss of Royal Mail, to question the lack of female bosses – equality may be on the agenda but women appear to be taking small steps at a time.
There’s the possibility that some women will not make it to leadership roles or positions due to the personal opinions or views of their boss. Some men still believe women to be of an inferior stature and refuse to allow them the chance to prove themselves as something more.
Although sexism is forbidden in the modern world, this does not change the views and opinions that some people hold against women across the globe. As mentioned previously, strides towards equality are being made but let’s not forget that some golf clubs in the UK are still male-only.
Could it be that men progress differently? It’s possible that men are incredibly ruthless when it comes to career progression and that they do not hold back when attempting to find a better position than the one they’re currently in. We all have different priorities in life, things that we feel are more important to us in life. In the past, women have often chosen the family before their career and although, things are changing, maybe this still holds true for some. On the other hand, men have rarely had to make this decision and can therefore afford to focus far more on climbing that career ladder.
Pregnancy and Absence
This leads us to the following factor of childbirth. Women may be held back and prevented from progressing to leadership roles by the fact that at some point in their lifetime they may choose to start a family, where time off from work is inevitable.
Although, companies are not supposed to take into account these types of factors when looking to promote or hire, business is often ruthless where the company comes first. Women could potentially lose out on a position due to the fact that the company does not want to risk losing an important member of the team for a substantial period of time. For some companies, the ideal employee is one that has no other distractions outside of work and can always be there to put in extra hours if needed. Unfortunately, life is not that simple and there are other priorities that also demand our attention.
There are likely to be many other reasons as to why more women aren’t taking leadership roles or progressing to executive positions; and until we seriously look into this situation, we’re unlikely to get to the bottom of this issue.
This is my first article for Lip-Sticking and over the coming months, I plan to dig into this situation. Look out for my next post, where I will cover tips on how to overcome barriers to leadership roles.
Author: Georgina Stewart is a dedicated individual that works for executive recruitment company, Marble Hill Partners. Georgina prides herself on helping individuals acquire executive roles and aiding subsequent companies in the process.