New Report by Korn Ferry & The Conference Board: Majority of HR Executives Say Gender Parity in Company Leadership is Significant Issue
--Inequity Dramatically Increases at Higher Levels in an Organization --
-- Nearly Half Believe Women are Not Gaining Necessary Experiences to Help them Advance --
-- New Report Outlines Actions to Increase Female Leader Representation --
Researchers surveyed nearly 300 human resource executives as part of the study, Effective Leadership Development Strategies at Pivotal Points for Women: Chief Human Resources Officers and Senior HR Leaders Speak*. While 62 percent of respondents believe representation of women in leadership positions has improved during the last five years, 66 percent believe that there still is an inadequate representation of women in leadership positions in their organization today.
Inadequate Female Representation Increases at Higher Levels
According to the survey and other bodies of research, gender inequity is significantly higher at top levels within organizations. While nearly half of individual contributors are women, that percentage dwindles to little more than a fifth at the senior vice president and c-suite levels.
The study found a high level of dissatisfaction with female representation in leadership roles, with 66 percent of respondents saying the number of women at the vice president level at their own organization was inadequate, and 65 percent agreeing that there was not enough female representation in the c-suite.
Pivotal Points to Building a Robust Pipeline
Half of respondents believe there are not enough women in the pipeline to fill open leadership positions. In addition, 40 percent do not believe women are gaining the experiences necessary to help them advance.
The authors of the study believe incremental actions will not be enough to close the gap, and that leaders must disrupt the status quo, take a strong position, and focus on programs that drive greater outcomes.
“The obstacles a woman faces exist across the entire lifecycle – from
hiring to promotion and throughout development,” said
“HR and business executives need to take a step back to better
understand and address the systemic reasons behind the gender
The report by
- Challenging women early in their careers
- Redesigning talent management systems to mitigate bias and disrupt historical practices
- Creating an intentionally inclusive climate
- Providing differentiated development opportunities and experiences
- Developing a sponsorship program aimed at women advancement opportunities
- Offering stretch assignments and personalized leadership experiences
The report also includes case studies of organizations that have enacted effective female development initiatives.
About the Survey
About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org