Women Executives: Leadership Role Models (Part 1)

If you think 21st century women have it made as top flight executives, Chief Executive Officers and the ultimate holy grail of governance as Chairman of the Board of a multi national corporation, think again.

Male captains of industry have been fortunate to have so many outstanding male examples to model as they ascend the corporate ladder. In fact there is an embarrassment of riches with regards to asking and getting a strong and positive mentor to help them grow and develop into the top job.

The same cannot be said for females. Women executives in leadership positions are few and far in between according to some statistics I uncovered.

A 2008 Australian Census of Women in Leadership published by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency found that the number of women on boards and executive management of Australia’s top 200 ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) companies could be counted on fingers on one hand (with one digit to spare).

The percentage of women as Chairman and CEOs were 4 of 200 (2.0%) in each category; board of directors numbered 125 of 1504 (8.3%).

There was no female on the board of directors in 51 % of these ASX 200 listed companies.

Because we see more women in business suits today (than say in the 1950s) there is an assumption that they must occupy executive management positions. The reality is that there are more women in middle management positions in human resources, finance, medical and health administration, and real estate and property businesses today than any other time.

However, at the pointy end i.e., top management where the real game is played, women are under represented.

In 2010, only 2.8 percent of Fortune 500 chief executives were female.

I believe that sisters need to do it for themselves.

Specifically they need strong, smart and compassionate female role models to help them navigate their way through the management maze.

How will they do this? I will discuss some strategies in my next post.

Yours in health, wealth and happiness

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.