by Deborah Pine
Originally published: April 4, 2017
I read a multitude of studies for my job, and they often seem paradoxical: First, diversity is good for business — it leads to a more innovative workforce and higher profits; but second, most industries have failed to achieve that diversity in their leadership. As women progress in their careers, the number advancing into higher-level leadership roles decreases: women make up 46 percent of professional entry-level jobs; 37 percent of managers; 29 percent of vice presidents; and only 19 percent of C-suite positions.
Research from Bain & Company and LinkedIn suggests why. Their 2016 study, which surveyed 8,400 U.S.-based women and men with a college degree, revealed that women not only enter the workforce with less confidence and lower aspirations for top management than men but that the gap persists. At midcareer, 56 percent of women aspired to a senior leadership position compared with 64 percent of men. And just 57 percent of women said they had the confidence to reach their goal, compared to 66 percent of men.