What’s Holding Women Back in Leadership Roles? - FocusU

What’s Holding Women Back in Leadership Roles?

Being a working woman, the position of women in leadership roles is an issue very close to my heart. This is one such topic which gets everyone’s attention and leads to divided opinions even today. Corporate India today has come a long way, and we’re seeing more and more women assuming top leadership positions, especially in big metro cities. Some of the luxuries we women enjoy today, could not be imagined by our mothers or grandmothers.

However, full inclusion still seems to be a faraway goal, and the representation of women is especially scarce in leadership roles. Let’s look at some staggering stats below:

  • Out of all the CEOs of the companies that have made up to the 2018 Fortune 500 list, only 24 are women. This is down 25 percent from 2017 which reported a record-breaking figure of 32 women CEOs.
  • According to Fortune, one of the biggest reasons for this decline is that more than one-third of the women CEOs resigned in the past year including Hewlett Packard’s Meg Whitman and Avon’s Sheri McCoy.

Another recent report from the government of India reveals that Indian women get paid 20 percent less than men, a shocking statistic that highlights that gender still plays a critical role while determining salaries in India.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

  • In the book ‘How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job’, Sally Helgeson and Marshall Goldsmith list down 12 behaviors which hinder women form rising to the top. The focus of this book is not to develop new habits, since we women already have enough to do anyway. The goal is to teach ‘must stop’ habits that in the author’s experience are likely to get in the way of a woman. The 12 ‘must stop’ habits are: Reluctance to claim your achievement
  • Expecting others to notice and reward your contributions. This is also what Sheryl Sandberg in her book ‘Lean In’ refers to as the ‘Tiara Syndrome’
  • Overvaluing expertise
  • Just building rather than leveraging relationships
  • Failing to enlist allies from day 1
  • Putting your job before your career
  • Perfection Trap
  • The disease to please
  • Minimizing
  • Too much
  • Ruminating
  • Letting your radar distract you
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I had the opportunity to attend their session in Bangalore and enjoyed the discussions thoroughly. During the session, I noticed on an average one woman raising her hand to one of these behaviors at least once. Sometimes we do it unconsciously that we don’t even realize we’re exhibiting such behaviour. Can you believe it?

Whatever be the reasons, it is our moral responsibility – regardless of society, culture, or industry – to provide women equal avenues of growth and to advance their leadership everywhere. Remember, no business or society can develop in actual sense without women collaborating with men in equal and enormous manner.  In addition, it is also imperative that the organizations develop a culture of engagement where women can thrive and climb positions of leadership.

The world is better off with more women business leaders. What are your thoughts?  Do write in to us and join the conversation  hello@focusu.com.

#More power to you

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