Gender equality in management positions
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Gender equality in management positions Facts for CEOs

The topic of gender equality in management positions is gaining increasing recognition worldwide. More and more organizations are actively thinking about how they can increase the percentage of women in general, and in management positions in particular. But what are the advantages for companies? How does the current imbalance manifest itself? And what can be done to effectively combat it?

This fact check is aimed at leaders in business, the social economy, sciences, and media. It looks at the most common myths about gender equality, and employs data-driven analysis. As such, this fact check forms the basis for an objective analysis of the status quo and current action areas.


Overview: Status quo

Women continue to be under-represented in management positions in large companies.

Status quo women under represented management
The status quo – women continue to be under-represented in management positions in large companies
Source: Women on Boards Davies Review 2015

Myth 1: „The differences will resolve themselves“

Myth

  • Over time, current trends alone will lead to gender equality

Reality

  • Despite the increasing proportion of female university graduates and young professionals, the ratio in management positions has barely changed – because the percentage of women decreases as the career level increases

Myth 2: “Women rarely strive for management positions”

 

Myth

  • Women are generally less interested in management positions than men

Reality

  • Career plans of women are just as ambitious as those of men, and women are prepared to invest significant time and energy in their career

Myth 3: “Gender equality is just an image thing”

 

Myth

  • Gender equality is important for the reputation of a company, but not its performance

Reality

  • Companies with women on management boards are healthier and financially more successful – because women are relevant for strategic decisions and collective intelligence

Myth 4: “Only women are given preferential treatment these days”

 

Myth

  • Targeted advancement of women disadvantages male staff and is contrary to the principle of meritender equality is important for the reputation of a company, but not its performance

Reality

  • Performance ratings reveal significant differences in how both genders are rated in various areas – although men especially are often not aware of this

Myth 5: “Nothing will change despite the raft of measures”

 

Myth

  • Despite the spread of introduced measures, there are no clear successes

Realität

  • Formally introduced, programs do not often show tangible success at first because clear commitment and targeted implementation at management level is critical to the success of diversity measures

What can we do?

What are the success factors?

  • Clear commitment from senior management
  • Development and implementation of tailored initiatives
  • Inclusion of middle management
  • Change in attitudes

 

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