Women in Leadership: Where Do Companies Stand?

CoachHub · 15 July 2022 · 5 min read

The underrepresentation of women in leadership roles has become a significant concern for the corporate world. Women make up about half of the workforce, but currently, only a small fraction of them make it to the executive or C-suite level. While progress is being made to provide women with opportunities for career advancement, in the US there are still significant inequities when it comes to pay and meaningful inclusion in leadership―especially when it comes to women of color. With the rise of corporate diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as well as resources like professional development and coaching, women are getting closer to shattering the glass ceiling that has been holding them back for far too long. Finally, corporate leadership is realizing that if they want to attract and retain top talent―of any gender―it must have diversity and opportunity at every level.

The good news: real progress is being made

We know that women are making incredible strides in the workplace. We see it every day in our own company and in the companies of our clients. And we’re so proud to be helping these women—and their companies—reach new heights!

A recent survey conducted by CoachHub found that 83% of companies consider women’s leadership to be a pressing issue and 56% of companies have observed an increase in the number of women in management positions over the last few years. 89% of respondents reported that women are currently in management positions in their companies (board of directors, executive committee, management committee, etc.) For 78% of respondants, they remain a minority; however,  progress is being made in 32% of cases.

women in leadership

Women are leaders, and they deserve to be recognized as such.

At CoachHub, we believe that the best way to foster a thriving company culture is to create an environment where women can achieve their professional goals. And  as research continues to grow, more attention towards women’s leadership is becoming a top priority. For example, only 17% of companies surveyed say they don’t discuss women in leadership at all while29% discuss it a lot or a great deal. Additionally, 28% reported that they talk about it “discreetly” and 26% are addressing the subject slowly but surely. 

According to the study, companies with more women in senior management positions have better performance than those without such diversity. Furthermore, these companies are more profitable than those with less female representation at higher levels of management—regardless of whether they’re public or private companies.

It’s clear that businesses want to create an environment where women can thrive and succeed in their careers and feel encouraged by their employers’ support for them as leaders. Our survey indicated that 60% of respondents are aware that there are obstacles to women’s leadership within their company. Although some companies have made strides in this area, many still need to work on creating an equitable environment for women in leadership roles—and we’re here to help!

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The world of business has been slow to change—and that’s a problem.

According to recent research, only one in three women believes they can be successful in the workplace and 60% of respondents are aware that there are obstacles to women’s leadership within their company.

And what are those obstacles? Well, it depends on who you ask: 40% of companies have implemented measures to encourage women’s leadership, and the most common obstacles they cite include an industry that is considered to be gender-specific (although this can be overcome), an absence of a specific strategy to bring about change (which is always possible), and enduring negative stereotypes about women (which we can do something about).

But then there are some other issues: The absence of a leader who can boost the visibility of this issue (which happens too often), persistent sexism (not for long!), and lastly… well, no budget!

What can be done to boost women’s representation?

In the survey, women were asked for concrete recommendations to help their employers increase awareness of the issue.

Here are their top five recommendations for increasing the number of women in leadership positions:

  1. A gender-diverse policy: 54% of respondents said that it would make a difference if companies were more transparent about how they hire and promote based on gender diversity.
  2. A tailored recruitment policy: 50% of respondents said that it would help if companies were more transparent about how they recruit based on gender diversity.
  3. Women’s Networks: 49% of respondents said that it would make a difference if companies offered a network where they could meet other women at similar stages in their careers and talk openly about their experiences.
  4. Initiatives to raise awareness and series of conferences: 44% of respondents said that it would make a difference if companies initiated initiatives to raise awareness about gender equality and promoted gender equality through regular conferences for all employees.
  5. Training, coaching, and mentoring programs: 41% of respondents said that it would make a difference if companies offered training, coaching and mentoring programs focused on improving the leadership skills of women.

The ROI of women in leadership roles

Incorporating gender diversity initiatives into your company can have a positive impact on individuals, their close colleagues, and the entire organization. By recognizing historical and cultural factors that disproportionately affect women, as well as accounting for systemic barriers and inequities, coaching professionals through a gender lens can help transform the workplace.

When companies implement gender diversity initiatives, such as women in leadership programs or coaching through a gender lens, organizations report the following results:

  • 57% see improved business outcomes
  • Nearly 75% report increased profit by 25%
  • 54% of organizations report improved openness, creativity, innovation and reputation
  • And many report lower employee turnover.

Women’s empowerment is the key to creating more diverse, inclusive workplaces.

When women are empowered to be in leadership roles, they can change the game. That’s why we believe that empowering women with coaching is a smart business move—it fosters diversity, improves teamwork and helps companies achieve their goals.

When it comes to workplace coaching for women, there are many different options available today. Some organizations offer employee trainings on topics like negotiating for raises or managing workloads while others provide one-on-one mentoring programs for high performers who need a bit of extra support to advance within their organization.; It is also possible to offer executive coaching opportunities for senior leaders looking to take their careers to new heights. Each of these programs offers unique benefits that can help women thrive in today’s business environment—and together, they can help create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued at work.

Bottom Line

Today’s organizations have the opportunity to change their culture and help women thrive in leadership roles. And let’s be clear, this is not about a “women’s agenda.” It’s about creating a culture that emphasizes the importance of leadership, innovation, and growth. In building an inclusive culture, we will encourage all employees to pursue their growth and development. We will also create culture where our employees feel comfortable taking risks and being innovative because they know that their leaders are also leading from a place of authenticity.

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Call us on +44 (0) 20 3608 3083 email us (mail@coachhub.com) or contact us below for a demo.

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CoachHub is the leading global talent development platform that enables organisations to create a personalised, measurable and scalable coaching programme for the entire workforce, regardless of department and seniority level. By doing so, organisations are able to reap a multitude of benefits, including increased employee engagement, higher levels of productivity, improved job performance and increased retention. CoachHub’s global pool of coaches is comprised of over 3,500 certified business coaches in 90 countries across six continents with coaching sessions available in over 60 languages, to serve more than 500 clients. Our programmes are based on advanced R&D from our Coaching Lab, led by Prof. Jonathan Passmore and our Science Council. CoachHub is backed by leading tech investors, including Sofina, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Molten Ventures, Speedinvest, HV Capital, Partech and Silicon Valley Bank/SVB Capital. In September 2021, CoachHub acquired French digital coaching pioneer MoovOne to build a global champion focused on jointly democratising coaching. CoachHub is committed to creating a greener future and is a certified carbon neutral company since 2022.
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