How to Advance More Women into Leadership : Guidance from 50 C-Suite Women

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Based on research with 50 C-Suite Women, this presentation details specific recommendations for easing the path of future female leaders. It also brings the positive and negative emotions of leadership journey to light in the words of women at the top of their organizations. What is the price of success and do they think it’s worth it?

Specific takeaways include the importance of :

  • Promotion of the positive emotional payback of a top job for a woman as well as some of the negative ones. To date, publicity is more about the trade-offs female leaders make between job and family / personal time. More stories of actual female leaders need to be told. This recommendation is directed more to what happens within organizations than a request for media coverage although that is also helpful. Most organizations have cultures created by men for men, as one study respondent observed, making pathways to leadership for women obscure. Programs that allow direct contact with high-achieving women include mentorships, can show aspiring female leaders the value (and price) of top jobs and pathways to achieve them.
  • More programs that build confidence in girls and young women, especially for those eligible for and expressing interest in executive positions. A confidence gap between girls and boys has been documented, and it is not clear that girls growing up in the 21st century have been able to catch up with boys.

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