I must admit, I tend to be very cautious when statistics are tossed out without adequate context, but looking around the web I was unable to find a comprehensive study that disputed her numbers.
Some of her findings:
- 16.4% of top positions are held by women
- Women are 46% of workforce, and 50% of management
- However, women comprise only 10 CEO’s in fortune 500 — 2%
At this rate, parity will take another 40 years! How can we address this issue?
One surprising solution? A new look at project management. Corporations have traditionally built career ladders from functional management. With the rise of project-related work and project management, those career ladders have not changed, so project managers often complain about an inability to advance in their careers beyond project management.
Corporate leaders justify this issue by writing off project managers as tactical executors, not as strategic thinkers. However, what good is a strategy if leaders cannot draw a clear line from idea to execution? The lack of project management discipline in the corner office has brought a lot of frustration to organizations, who can’t understand the disconnect between idea and action. Project management can fill that void. Project managers who can think strategically, then determine objectives, targets, measures and execution plans will be far more successful than a corporate leader without those abilities.
Great! So we get more project management capabilities into the corner office! Now, how exactly does this help women? Women make up a larger and larger percentage of project managers (by some counts more than 50%), and their ability to multitask better than men has helped them excel in this field. As we open up executive opportunities for project managers, we can be simultaneously achieving our diversity targets, without reducing our standards for excellence.
What do you think?