American women pursue equal rights in the workplace. An irony of that workplace chase is that women are disproportionately represented in executive management and on corporate boards when women are America’s primary buying force in a consumer-driven economy.
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and author of the best-seller “Lean In,” said at her 2010 TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference that role models are one of the three most essential needs for increasing the number of women in executive positions. The other two are the will to lead and life balance.
Why do most major companies fail to advance capable women to upper management positions? What is holding women back? It is certainly not education because more women than men graduate from college in America.
It also is not smaller numbers of women working in corporate America. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women nearly equal men in workforce numbers but hold less than 30 percent of executive positions. With better education, improved child care facilities, better corporate acceptance of flex-work hours, employment legislation, maternity leave and marginally improving male acceptance of family responsibilities, more women are choosing to pursue corporate careers without proportional success.