The glass ceiling has been a longstanding topic of conversation and has prompted companies to promote diversity and inclusion amongst the ranks at the leadership level. There are more women in leadership and CEO roles than before however the numbers are still well below their male white counterparts. In addition, there’s a greater gap with minority women in CEO roles for example.
Breaking that glass ceiling is an ongoing discussion and one that should be given considerable attention and initiate more change. Gaps in wages and growth opportunities are just a few examples of the impact.
Women and Small Businesses
Some believe women are starting small businesses at a higher rate than men as a way to control their own destiny. In part, some women feel difficulty overcoming barriers in the corporate world, They want to be their own boss and make their mark. Women are also obtaining master’s degrees at a higher rate than men. Women are educating themselves more and taking opportunities to advance their skills to be in a more competitive position. Although starting your own business is very demanding and may require capital that is challenging to come by, many women are still choosing that career path. Gender equality is one of the factors driving that decision. It is an important consideration.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
In order to make progress, one must recognize there is an issue and be fully committed to addressing it. To take superficial rather than meaningful steps defeats the purpose. Checking off boxes that you have certain programs in place and setting goals is not enough. Some companies are certainly making more progress than others. It’s more comfortable to work with someone that you feel is like you. You have more in common and you feel a greater connection. However the company suffers in the long run. With diversity comes innovation. People bringing forth different ideas and perspectives. Organizations need people who think differently, challenge one another and the status quo.
The Pandemic Plays A Part
During the height of the pandemic, there were a number of challenges with day care for families. Day care facilities closed coupled with concerns about leaving one’s children in daycare at the height of the pandemic. As a result, many two income households became one income households. There were more females than males exiting the workforce as a result of daycare challenges. It can be disheartening because when women reenter the workforce, data shows there’s a likelihood that they will return at a lower salary level therefore losing the gains that they worked so hard for in their career.
A company loses a great deal of talent if they don’t have enough female or diversity in leadership at the top. Everyone brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the table. Although progress has been made in breaking the glass ceiling it continues to be a topic of discussion. Inclusion is something companies need to continue to strive toward in more meaningful and tangible ways.