Despite the fact that women make up the increasing majority of undergraduate college graduates the executive level glass ceiling remains firmly in place in many corporations. In the video featured on WIPA’s coverage of the Harvard Kennedy WAPPP program it was stated that women make up roughly 3% of senior-level executives in Fortune 500 companies.
READ this NYTs article: For Women in the Workplace, an ‘Upgrade Problem’ – NYTimes.com.
Companies such as Siemens and Deutsche Telekom are working actively to try and shift the gender disparity at the executive level through a wide variety of means, including hiring quotas and services such as child care and mentoring.
Mentoring is an essential tool to close the gender gap at the corporate level. According to the NYTs article that inspired this post:
Having a high-ranking mentor seems to bring significant payoffs — for men and women. A study performed by Catalyst in 2010 with the same 4,500 business school graduates it studied in 2008 found that both men and women who had mentors at the top of their organizations got promoted at comparable rates — and faster than those who had no active mentoring relationship.
WIPA recognizes the value and importance of mentorship, which is why we try to highlight the stories of women who are making meaningful and active contributions to their community. Interviews with individuals like Gayle Lemmon and Dr. Suellen Miller are valuable because they show that women can make a difference in their community through a variety of different means. Upcoming interviews with individuals like Anja Manual, principal of the RiceHadley Group further reinforce the importance of women in public policy and set positive examples for future generations of leaders.
Kudos go out to companies like Siemens and Deutsche Telekom, who recognize that breaking through the glass ceiling goes well beyond hiring quotas. Setting positive examples and giving women the tools to achieve professional success are essential resources if the ‘upgrade problem’ is to be fully addressed.