Women in Management – The Power of Role Models

Women in Management - The Power of Role Models

Women make up half of the world’s population, but they are nowhere near making up half of the leadership contributions. When it comes to management, women make up 60% of junior managers, but by the time you get to the top ranks this number barely makes it into the low double digits – and still fewer among our biggest businesses. Why?

Achieving change means overcoming cultural barriers which can be very subtle and hard to spot, but which as a result are no less damaging to women in limiting their progress. We still face some formidable barriers that prevent women from making it through the talent pipeline all the way to the top. One of the biggest is the absence of role models.

Good role models inspire us, give us new ideas and show us that things can be different. I think there are two types. There are the so-called idols whose names are writ large across the night sky. Then we have the accessible ones, who can teach us how to do things and instil a belief that we too can achieve great things. We need both. We need to dream big but we also need people that we can reach out and touch.

As this paper makes clear, we need more role models. The more role models there are available to inspire girls and women – especially at critical points when they’re making decisions about their education or their career – the more likely we are to see girls and women making decisions that offer them real opportunities, and going for the top jobs in the middle of their career rather than staying put. It’s time for a role model revolution.

This paper looks into how we can achieve this – and how every manager can support that change. What better challenge is there than the challenge of inspiring the next generation?

Ann Francke MBA CCMI CMgr FIC Chief Executive, CMI

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