Boss Lady

Climbing the corporate ladder


What does it take to be a leader? Skill? Talent? Or maybe just gender? What do you need to keep climbing the ladder if you’re a woman?

A recent study has been shown that women make better leaders than men, based on factors such as how effective and competent they are.

The findings show that the number of women in business slowly decreases the higher up the leadership ladder you get, with one graph showing that when women enter the business workforce, they make up “53% of new hires, 37% of supervisors, 30% of managers, 26% of Vice Presidents, 14% of Senior Executives and 3% of CEO’s”.

But what can be done to change these statistics, when traditionally it is the women who stay home and look after the children. But in a day and age when women make up about 50% of the workforce and when a lot of homes depend on two incomes, why is that, when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder to becoming leaders, women are (still) largely not making it to the top?

Perhaps it something to do with encouragement? In recent years, women in leadership and other top ranking jobs, have been criticised for things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with their job skills ⎯ such as personality traits or dress sense. This, conversely, may just have a negative effect on girls in younger generations who aspire to being a leader.

And this, perhaps, has something to do with the lack of encouragement for women to reach for leadership/top jobs.

Renowned analysis house Ernst and Young suggest that women are more likely to need encouragement to start their own businesses or take a chance on a promotion, with one highly successful businesswoman, Thérèse Rein, founder of Ingeus, commenting that, she ‘…had never considered running her own business, until someone she respected offered to invest in her ideas’. “This was not something I ever thought of doing. But having someone say they believe in you was immensely enabling.”

So encouragement is clearly an important factor for women pursuing a leadership position or another top job. And perhaps is something that should be aimed at younger generations of women as well ⎯ because they may otherwise be deterred from leadership aspirations by the lack of encouragement (and the strong personal criticism) they see for the public image of women currently in top jobs.

This being said, though, it also shouldn’t matter how old you are, where you are in your career or what kind of leadership role you want to achieve, statistics shouldn’t be relied upon to determine where you will go and how you will get there and encouragement can go a long way, especially when it is from the right place.



About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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  1. Cindy TB

    March 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    The effort will be worth it.

  2. Heidi

    June 18, 2015 at 1:47 am

    One. Rung. At. A. Time.

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