Equality may have improved in recent years but there’s still a long way to go until women are properly represented in business. With the vast majority of leadership roles still going to men, it’s essential to address the challenges women in business face – and overcome them.
What’s Stopping Women Progressing in Business?
Sadly, there’s no single answer to this question. Systemic gender inequality, societal expectations, the valuing of stereotypically male traits and devaluing of stereotypically female traits in the workplace, limited funding and practical constraints are all responsible for holding women back, whether we like to acknowledge it or not.
In 2018 alone, there were more male CEOs called Jeffrey in the largest 250 S&P 500 companies than there were women. While the number of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies may have hit an all-time high in 2020, there are still only 37 women in the top jobs. If we want to see more than 8% of leadership roles going to females, more needs to be done to level the playing field.
Following the passing of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there has been a renewed focus on equality in the media. Having single-handedly progressed the equality movement for decades, the onus now falls on the next generation of women to take up the mantle and ensure the job gets done.
Building Up Women in Business
If you want to find out about the challenges faced by women in business, who better to ask than a woman in business? The female leaders who have overcome the many obstacles they faced to rise to the top are uniquely placed to empower women who want to climb the carrier ladder. What’s more – they’re in a position to actively influence equality policies and ensure that women get a fair crack of the whip.
With increased coaching, a new generation of women can overcome the challenges they’ll face in the workplace and rise to the top with increased speed and success. From events designed to promote, educate, and empower females to formal coaching programs, there are a variety of ways to encourage and enable women to take on more leadership roles.
“One of the biggest challenges that women face in the modern workplace is centered around advocacy and confidence,” says Christina Economou of Ezra Coaching. “Introducing a coach to the mix gives women the skilled confidante they need to build their own confidence and no longer be held back by self-doubt and imposter syndrome, which is sadly still all-too common in female leaders. By addressing this with improved interpersonal skills, more women can grow into more prominent positions in senior management and beyond, in turn empowering them to give more chances to other women. This type of coaching, supported both internally and externally for women in business, facilitates a virtuous cycle that boosts real workplace equity rather than just perceived equality.”
Of course, formal coaching isn’t the only way to help businesswomen to achieve their goals. In many instances, it’s the informal mentoring that takes place on a day-to-day basis that makes the biggest impact. With guidance and support from women in senior roles, aspiring businesswomen can learn how to navigate the rocky terrain. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to finding ways to overcome the challenges women face in business and entrepreneurship, the answer is, of course, to ask a woman herself.