Business of Men

Why are female CEOs discriminated against?


The male v female debate

For many years now, the debate of unfairness between men and women continue between them in the workplace. All females have ever demanded is equality; the same pay, the same rights and the same opportunities as men, and all businesses should be respecting this, otherwise is it is certainly inequality and discrimination.

To gain an understanding of how many females are in leadership positions take the quiz below and make your estimation.

Why is it that out of 600 companies in the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 there so few women leading their companies. Are females not being given the same opportunities as men or is it a personal decision to not pursue CEO positions? And, out of the so few women in these companies, are they receiving the same pay as men?Did you know that on average male CEO’s earn over $2.5m (£2m) more than female CEO’s!

Barriers preventing female CEO opportunities

And, it is not just the pay that is an issue. There are many issues that can create a barrier for women progressing to the top.

First of all is perception and stereotypes, women are often perceived to be the less capable when compared to men. Typically executive roles are known to be associated with masculine roles and leadership, and as there are not enough women in this position to swing the balance it is “seen” to be a certain way.

Then there is organisational or occupational segregation; women are more associated with HR related jobs than men, and so they are trained on tasks or pushed towards projects in line with known related female positions rather than being trained on a male orientated position. This kind of segregation of opportunity is highly unfair.

Nowadays, however, some females are put off from progressing to the top due to these other barriers:

  • Increased stress at the top
  • An inadequate work life balance
  • The lack of senior visibility
  • Inhospitable organisational culture
  • A lack of mentoring or training
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Personal style differences
  • Family commitments

Tips for driving female leaders forward

If we are to move past the barriers,to help females rise to the top, there is a range of things that both companies and women can do.Let’s take a look

Companies can:

  • Raise awareness through diversity programmes
  • Have a better organisational structure and goal target for promotion
  • Implement on-site child care facilities to help with family commitments
  • Have mentoring schemes, assessed according to success
  • Provide a platform for females to take the lead in presenting so they can visibly “be seen”

Women can:

  • At interviews be assertive, by asking how many women work here and how many of those women are in top level/executive positions?
  • Raise concerns in the job, if they are experiencing equality at the top
  • Negotiate the time worked. Opting for flexible working patterns from home that can achieve a balanced work/life environment
  • Discuss the possibility on-site child facilities
  • Be more empowered, work on a gender equality campaign with the company
  • Demand a pay and bonus structure for job positions, then it is clear that earnings are based on a structured plan and not gender related!

These are just some of the tips we have today. If you feel there are fixes that both companies and females can do, let us know.

If you would like to examine this subject area a bit further, take a look at the infographic below.


About Jenna Heeraman

Jenna Heeraman is a digital executive in marketing. Experienced in strategy implementations, recruitment and content development.

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