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Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Gender Diversity in Business is Making Strides

Custom Content by the Los Angeles Business Journal

Work ethic, ability to build relationships and passion are key drivers to becoming a business leader according to the results of new YPO (Young Presidents Organization), Financial Times and United Nations Women gender equality research released this year and fielded to uncover groundbreaking insights about the journey women and men take to the corner office.

Conducted earlier this year with 2,079 YPO member chief executives from 106 countries responding, the survey provides needed research on what gender specific roadblocks leaders face in their path toward becoming a chief executive and gleaned actionable insights on how to remove them for future generations of leaders. YPO member respondents run businesses that have annual revenues ranging from $10 million to more than $1 billion in over 30 industries – from manufacturing, health care, technology, and retail to real estate.

Key survey learnings include:
• About half of male respondents (51%) knew early in their careers they wanted to become chief executives, compared to one-third of female respondents.

• Per survey respondents, who achieved chief executive level by age 45 to qualify for YPO membership, the female leadership journey takes, on average, two years longer (men on average at 33.6 years compared to women on average at 35.4 years).

• The gender of those at the helm clearly matters in the effort to further gender equality overall in business. Women-led businesses report more female diversity on their boards, in senior management and in their organizations. Female chief executives reported that 43% of their senior management is female versus 26% at male-run businesses.

• At the organization level, 48% of the workforce is female at women-led companies; 37% of the workforce is female at male-run companies.

• Female chief executives are more likely to face “balancing respect with likability” (30%) and “overcoming others’ preconceptions about me” (20%) than their male counterparts.”  In contrast, only 9% of male chief executives have had to overcome preconceptions.

• When asked about “cultural expectations related to gender,” a mere 2% of male business leaders responded that they faced this obstacle compared to almost half (47%) of female business leader respondents.

• Seventy-three percent of female respondents compared to 42% of male respondents took leave or sacrificed career advancement because of family needs. Sixty percent of female chief executives have taken maternity leave, while only 13% of male chief executives have taken paternity leave.

• The biggest challenges all global leaders currently face are “navigating and communicating constant change” (50%), “staying ahead of the competition” (47%) and “competing priorities” (43%). “Balancing work/life responsibilities” was another major challenge for both male (42%) and female (45%) respondents.

YPO member respondents provided several key insights on how all business leaders can create a more equitable path forward including:
• Conduct bias training to curb gender bias in all levels of hiring, mentoring, advancement, and job assignments.

• Make recruiting women a priority.

• Support flexible work options. Eighty-four percent of respondents said they offer flexible work options, and one-quarter noted it has made the most significant impact in creating a culture of gender inclusivity at their companies.

YPO is the global leadership community of more than 30,000 chief executives in 142 countries who are connected by the shared belief that the world needs better leaders. Each of its members has achieved significant leadership success at a young age. Combined, they lead businesses and organizations contributing $9 trillion in annual revenue. YPO members inspire and support each other through peer learning and exceptional experiences in an inclusive community of open sharing and trust.

For complete survey results and to learn additional actions to advance gender equality in the workplace, visit ypo.org. 

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