Many of today’s women-owned businesses (WOBs) are led by recession-tested entrepreneurs whose experiences provide valuable insight into the challenges that may await aspiring small business owners. A new study released by Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., NFIB and the Center for Women's Business Research, looks at how women small business owners performed during the “Great Recession.”
The ranks of female chief executives remain thin, with women in the top spot at just 35 Fortune 1000 companies. But the pipeline is promising, says Maggie Wilderotter, CEO of Frontier Communications Corp., adding that she has noticed a number of "women in waiting" at Xerox Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co., where she is a board member.
She adds that she wouldn't be surprised if the number of major-company female CEOs doubled by 2017. At her own employer, a diversified telecom firm, half of Ms. Wilderotter's six direct reports are women.
"If you want a CEO role, you have to prepare for it with a vengeance," says Denise Morrison, chief of Campbell Soup Co. CPB and Ms. Wilderotter's sister.
The past 12 months have seen women take the lead in some of the toughest economic and political environments: Christine Lagarde became the first female to head the International Monetary Fund, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has emerged as the key figure in solving the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and Maria das Gracas Foster has taken over at Petrobras, becoming the first woman to run one of the world’s top five oil companies. Women also head governments in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Thailand.
However, the GrantThorton International Business Report 2012 survey shows that just 21% of senior management roles are held by women globally, figure which has barely moved over the past decade. Moreover, just 9% of businesses have a female CEO. This short report explores why this issue matters, the current state of play and what is being done about it.
The Ernst & Young study, based on Babson College Center for Women’s Leadership research, revealed that four years into the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, it is a model that can spur dramatic growth. Program participants’ companies have grown almost 50 percent each year on average, with a corresponding average annual job growth rate of more than 25 percent.
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) submitted its 2011 Annual Report to the president, Congress and U.S. Small Business Administration, providing its list of policy and program recommendations for how the government can best assist women-owned businesses.
California’s Glass Ceiling May Take a Century to Crack.
The UC Davis Graduate School of Management in partnership with Watermark publishes the annual "UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers."
Our seventh annual study details the presence of women at the very top of the 400 largest publicly held corporations headquartered in the state. Our findings paint a disappointing picture of female representation on the boards and in the executive suites of these high-profile companies, which together represent nearly $3 trillion in shareholder value.
Women still hold fewer than one in 10 of the highest-paid executive positions and board seats at the top public firms in California — a rate that has improved by just 0.2 percent annually.
News that FTSE 100 companies failed to meet government recommendations that women make up at least a quarter of their boards has come as little surprise to campaigners.
Despite a "huge leap" in the number of women appointed to non-executive posts this year, the latest report from Cranfield School of Management shows that the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards has moved up only slightly, from 12.5% in December 2010 to 14.2%.
Although some companies, such as Burberry, have a high level of female representation at senior levels, others, such as International Power, have none. Half of all companies in the FTSE 250 have no female directors at all.
In the US, the story is much the same. Despite accounting for more than half of all jobs at financial companies, women fill a very small number of leadership positions in the corporate world, and the recession might be exacerbating this situation.
Female employees appear to be losing their jobs more easily than their male counterparts. Between 2007 and 2010 12.5% of women working in the UK financial sector lost their jobs, compared to 8.8% of men, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
New research has tried to address the disparity between the high level of education and early success of women, and their lack of representation further up the corporate hierarchy.
Rather than focus blame on inherently "male" cultures in the workplace, academics have attempted to look at issues that might be more immediately addressed, such as a lack of mentoring for female candidates and lack of imagination from chairmen about the professions which proffer suitable board members.
One area that many researchers seem keen to get away from is a conversation about the merits of employing women because of the perceived benefits that their gender might bring.
Stereotypes that pigeonhole women as more caring and emotionally intelligent are barriers - cliches that paint women as inherently less aggressive and more scared of risk, says Michelle Ryan, professor of social and organisational psychology at the University of Exeter. She believes that women continue to be under-represented at the top because changes in policy are not necessarily directly followed by changes in attitudes.
Newsweek recently conducted two new polls amongst corporate hiring managers as well as a telephone survey of the national public in order to determine once and for all whether or not looks matter in the hiring process and at the workplace. The results, while perhaps reflective of what we’ve always secretly thought but hoped wasn’t true, are disturbing.
Despite widespread satisfaction over the fact that women now constitute close to 50% of students in medical and law schools, it seems that the glass ceiling is still firmly in tact in the business realm; women currently constitute only 36.3% of students in MBA programs. What’s worse is that this statistic may point to a more serious cultural problem of “gender fatigue,” or the desire to ignore gender-based inequities despite pressing evidence that gender imbalances still exist.