Reading the Wall Street Journal last Wednesday I came across an interesting article, More Women Primed to Land CEO Roles.
Top line stats are unsurprising; at the current time only 35 of the 1000 Fortune companies have women as Chief Executive Officers. That’s a whopping 3.5%… I had to double take, this is 2012? Women won the right to vote in 1918 and The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970. So, why is that we still see men zooming past women in the world of business? Gene Marks gives his comments on Forbes online.
That’s 96.5% of CEO positions in the top 1000 Fortune companies going to men. I would love to interview women such as Irene Rosenfeld, Carly Fiorina and Andrea Jung and let them tell us why not more women are reaching the top spots, understand how they got there and why they wanted to? Honestly, I think it’s because women have more to prove in business. They need to be the model employee, a good mother, wife, neighbour and daughter in law, that’s a lot of pressure.
There is good news however; Maggie Wilderotter, CEO of Frontier Communications Corp. believes that the number of major-company female CEOs will double in the next 5 years.
I often wonder how you get that top spot, man or woman. Do you take a MBA at Harvard or work damn hard from the bottom up… two options really. The formula I believe is all in the mind, set a goal and reach it. Also, surround yourself by people who you can learn from, gain profit-and-loss experience and as Denise Morrison, Chief of Campbell Soup Co says, “If you want a CEO role, you have to prepare for it with a vengeance”.
I have the next 30 years to decide if I want to be a CEO, take an MBA, learn Russian, move to New York or set up my own bakery in Ramsbottom. There certainly isn’t a rush, my advice to any working woman just be good at what you do and be proud to do it. Juggle the best you can. If you’re good at what you do people will recognise it.
The good news is that the board room is opening up to having more women in the hot seat, now you just need to decide if you want it!