Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. No matter what a leader’s age, color, or gender, they have the same potential to be a great leader. Although women can be just as successful as men in leadership roles, even in this day and age the number of women leaders is dwindling. According to data, the gender gap in leadership starts early in a woman’s career with women accounting for 48% of entry-level hires and 38% of first-level managers.
This gender gap is a serious issue that needs to change for generations to come. This is we can change the gender gap:
Begin with College
Before women even enter the workforce, colleges and universities need to be doing more to encourage and prepare women for leadership. When women are better trained for business careers, the more likely and prepared they’ll by to advance in their first job after college. In college, women should be just as encouraged as men, if not more, to build a diverse set of skills think strategically about their career goals and how to push themselves towards success. There should also be more programs and events directed for women to take more leadership roles and encourage and inspire them to become great leaders.
Keep Men Their Equals
Although most women aren’t told right out that they are inferior to men, most of their experiences in life and education imply this. In school, sports, and clubs in college and after, they will see more men as their leaders. They need to see more women as class presidents, team captains, or even leader of the debate team. When they enter the workforce, management should be paying just as much attention to them as women. When a leadership role is up for grabs, make sure they know everyone stands a chance no matter what their gender may be.
Every Gender is an Ally
Men are not the enemy when it comes to the gender gap in leadership roles. In fact, they should be seen as an ally. Women should be encouraged to help other women succeed, but so should men. Men need to be doing more to ensure the leadership gender gap closes. Especially men of authority must see themselves as a part of the issue and the solution. They need to be a part of this critical discussion. This way men are brought in to the discussion in a positive way and women will have a better chance of succeeding in leadership roles.