As at the time of writing, Cardi B’s WAP is trending on Twitter and all other social media platforms. WAP is an acronym that stands for War Against Patriarchy. The fight to destroy the institutions that marginalize women is the temper of the time. But outside the world of hip-hop and the clamour for women to own their bodies and do with it as they fit, there is more. It is a fiercer discussion in the political and corporate world. The question is, why are there not many women occupying top management positions in the big companies?
Studies have shown that women are marginalized in their places of work. In a recent McKinsey & Company report that surveyed 329 companies, some interesting facts were laid bare. The report revealed that in these companies, with a combined 13 million employees shared between them, women only accounted for 21% of the executives. As Catalyst reports in a separate research, this figure is a lot slimmer when it comes to S&P 500 companies with women holding just about 6% of the CEO positions.
Over the years, however, women have clambered up and are still climbing into high positions. But there is still a long, long way to go. This brings us to the question: what is holding women back from reaching the top positions at their offices?
Is gender bias the clog in the wheel?
Analysts think so. Judging by the results from McKinsey’s research, men and women ask for promotion at about the same rate. But there is an enduring stereotype that women are to be less ambitious, and are therefore less likely to be promoted. To make matters worse, a woman who seeks promotion puts herself in the way of alienation.
Interestingly, a study also shows that once a woman occupies a top management position in a firm, the chances of another woman being hired to the same position drop by almost half.
Women occupying top management positions
In the San Jose Mercury News’ Silicon Valley 150 Index, for example, of the 62% of top public companies that have at least one woman as a director. Only 20% of those have more than one.
Even though it is a popular belief, we cannot really say men are the problem. As you will find, it doesn’t really matter the gender of the CEO. Companies with top female executives do not also hire many females or elevate them to a higher position. On social media, people are quick to say women do not support one another as much as they should. There’s always talk of women being envious of each other, but this may not be the reason why the male workers dominate under female leadership.
According to Fenwick lawyer, David Bell, both genders, when in executive positions, think in a similar, objective fashion. Going for only the most skilled, which are most often than not, men. It is also plausible that women in these high positions become painfully conscious about employing fellow women for fear of being accused of bias.
Contrary to Beyoncé’s claim, girls do not yet run the world. While they continue to make great strides, the Queendom they seek is still a long walk away.