In April 2011, the Wall Street Journal convened nearly 200 top leaders in government, business, and academia as a task force for their “Women in the Economy” initiative. (You can learn more about the initiative and the conference here.) The conference was called to address the growing evidence that while women make up more than half the workforce in the nation, the progress of women in America’s workplace has stalled— and it’s now actually “falling backward”.
My colleague Christine Jacobs rightly pointed out in her April 15 Forbes.com post: “Who would have thought that in the year 2011, there would still only be 15 women CEOs in the Fortune 500? Who would have thought that only 15% of American corporate board positions would be held by women? Who would have thought that only 17% of the US Congress would be women? And we are frustrated.”
I’ve heard many reasons for this phenomenon, from all angles—women aren’t as driven as men, we aren’t cut out for business, we just can’t handle the pressure as we near the top of the ladder, etc. And there are all kinds of data sharing that our ambition peters out as we add to our family. A February 2011 McKinsey & Co. survey shares as our families grow, women, unlike men, show less interest in advancement and believe their chances of promotion fade. Women express a greater desire than men to maintain what they consider a healthy balance between work and life outside their job.
Yes, that’s it.
Did you catch that?
(Read my full article here at Forbes.com)