You have likely seen this or a similar triangle. It depicts the percentage of women in the automotive industry at entry level (the foundation of the triangle) up through executive ranks. Now, the “triangle” imagery isn’t perfect, it’s obviously a lagging indicator; nonetheless it tells a story.
The story goes like this: Statistically speaking, over a woman’s career she will not advance as far as her male counterparts.
The reasons are many; pressure as a caregiver resulting in less career focus; demands for advancement that do not fit many women’s need for flexibility; lack of representation; unconscious bias; lack of mentors, lack of advocates, lack of opportunity, lack of women in the disciplines that have a leadership path – the list is long.
What we do know is that companies can and should address the factors that lie within their control. If your organization is not having conversations around the factors that limit women’s career advancement within your walls, now is a great time to start the dialogue. How many can you think of in your company? Which are within your control? Here are some resources to get you started:
McKinsey & Company: Women in the Workplace 2022 https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace
Catalyst Quick Take: Women on Corporate Boards
Catalyst Break the Cycle – Eliminating Gender Bias in Talent Management Systems
Catalyst The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership
Catalyst Women CEOs
Catalyst Women in Leadership at S&P/TSX Companies
The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board Filling the Pipeline Advancing More Women Into the C-Suite and On Corporate Boards
Article exclusively written for automotivediversity.org
Authored by Margaret Baxter