For better or worse, women CEOs are in the spotlight lately.
In June, when the 2017 Fortune 500 list came out, it had a record number of female CEOs, at 32. Cue fireworks and a small marching band.
Except that it’s been pretty much all downhill since.
Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Mondelez’s Irene Rosenfeld, and Avon’s Sheri McCoy are all stepping down, and Staples is going private, removing Shira Goodman from the publicly traded CEO ranks.
As if to underscore this ebbing, a New York Times article “Why Women Aren’t CEOs” stayed on the most-read list for the better part of a week.
Well, you may say, “This is a nice newsletter, but I don’t really have the time to worry about women becoming CEOs. You know I’m really busy, right? It doesn’t affect me.”
Nope. Sorry. We should all care about women in leadership.
And not just us gals, but the guys too.
We care because companies with more women in senior leadership are more likely to have smaller gender pay gaps than other companies...and that’s good for all of us – and the economy.
We care because companies with more women in senior leadership have higher employee satisfaction and lower turnover (among women AND men). They’re just nicer places to work.
We care because more women in leadership normalizes the idea of successful women…and makes it more acceptable for us – and our daughters – to be leaders. (Quick, name a sympathetic businesswoman on TV or in the movies. I can’t either, so we need to do this IRL.)
We care because the research tells us that more women in leadership drives better business results…again, good for the economy.
What can each of us do?
Well, most of us aren’t in the position to promote people to CEO roles. But most of us are in the position to mentor other women, and talk up other women, and celebrate other women on social media, and buy from other women’s businesses. And we’re also in the position to prove that the theme of one of the other articles that got a lot of attention in the past week – that women can bully each other at work – is on its way out.