The Gender Leadership Gap

The Gender Leadership Gap

Startling Gender Leadership Gap Statistics

Mary Barra, Meg Whitman, Ursula Burns, Indra Nooyi, Sherilyn McCoy, Marissa Mayer – What do these women have in common?  They are among 23 female CEOs running Fortune 500 companies that have crossed the Gender Leadership Gap.  The numbers of these women are slowing increasing, but if you do the math, it means that there are 477 male CEOs running the remaining Fortune 500 companies – and that ain’t so good.

In fact, women now represent 58.6% of the labor force in the United States and occupy 51.5% of all management, professional and related occupations according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  In addition, women now account for 60% of bachelor degree graduates at U.S. universities.  However, women hold only 14.6% of executive officer positions of the Fortune 500 companies, and the number of female CEOs at these companies is 4.6.

Bottom line:  Women are educated, have garnered work experience, and serve in roles as middle managers, yet very few have attained senior leadership positions (and this trend has barely budged in ten years).

The statistics are startling, and compelled me to research the topic in my doctoral dissertation.  I examined the reasons behind the gender leadership gap and explored gender differences in the workplace.  I also examined emotional intelligence (EQ), and the role it plays in leadership of both men and women.  EQ is not only a key aspect and driver of leadership effectiveness, but is a key differentiator between good and great performance of individuals and leaders.

As an L&D professional, you can influence both emotional intelligence and leadership at your organization.  You can create awareness of emotional intelligence to help close any gender gaps or misperceptions that may exist.  You can initiate training programs that help employees improve specific EQ attributes.  Further, you can collaborate with Human Resources to create training programs that develop leadership talent.

Contact me today to discuss how I can help you build an effective, gender-balanced team of managers and leaders at