The glass ceiling has been broken to a large degree, but female executives still voluntarily leave the corporate environment twice as often as men, according to the 2010 study “The Impact of Gender on Voluntary and Involuntary Executive Departure.”
Leaders in large organizations need to examine this issue now and work out the complex and connective drivers making it happen. Then diversity executives and their peers in the lines of business will have an idea which tools will be necessary to assure continuity and retention of top executive female talent. We will learn more as we go, but we do need to take action, starting now.
The progress in the area of having more women move in to the senior levels of business has been slower in materializing that many could have ever realized. There are multiple pressures on women in today’s world, and they have many pressures built into their world that most men do not take into consideration.
Another fact in this article is that 11 of the 12 female CEO’s of Fortune 500 firms are also mothers. That adds a dynamic that most men would never have to consider.
My hat is off to women in leadership and I wish them continued success in their pursuits. As a search professional I will keep my ears and eyes open to the many skilled and experienced men and women who are looking for opportunities to advance in this challenging economy.