New Report Offers Strategies for Closing the Gender Gap in Organizational Leadership

A new report from the IBM Institute for Business Value examines the status of women in leadership roles across 10 industries and 9 geographic regions. The study also offers recommendations of what organizations can do that will make significant progress in closing the gender gap in leadership roles.

The report found that the number of women serving in senior leadership positions has barely budged over the past 2 years, with no gains in board seats or the corporate suite. Perhaps most concerningly, today there are fewer women in the pipeline to fill executive roles than was the case in 2019.

The authors note that “organizations want to change. But most are moving too slowly. Too many organizations continue to pursue gender equity and diversity using broad-based programs that don’t address underlying mindsets and lack a measurable path to value. Only 1 in 4 organizations make the advancement of women a top 10 priority. In a period when the pandemic has decimated many women’s careers, relying on conventional approaches won’t close the gender gap.”

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president for IBM Global Markets, states that “advancing women is not a top priority for the majority of global organizations. Employees feel “gender equity” fatigue over ineffective programmatic efforts to address the problem. And there is a clear need for new models of empathetic leadership.”

Among the strategies the authors recommend are:

  • Treat gender equity and diversity as though your business’s survival depends on it.
  • Define success in closing the gender gap in leadership in clear and concrete terms.
  • Drive accountability and don’t settle for acknowledgment.
  • Seek solutions that deliver exponential gains.
  • Show visible commitment.
  • Hardwire fairness into screening.

The full report, Women, Leadership and Missed Opportunities, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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