Women are still less likely to aspire to leadership in business, despite decades of gender initiatives, and Professor Ekaterina Netchaeva says we need to find out why.
In her article in The Conversation, Prof Netchaeva points out that the gender gap in pay, positions and pensions for working women is well-established, but research shows that a gender aspiration gap has also emerged in recent years. This is when women do not aspire to rise through the ranks in the same way as men do, and it could affect efforts to encourage more women to apply for leadership roles at work. Her research indicates that company diversity initiatives are not working, so business leaders and managers must do a better job of factoring women’s actual aspirations into the development of these initiatives by investigating the specific reasons behind female employees’ lower aspirations, especially in male-dominated environments.
BPW has a role to play too. Building women's competence, capacity and confidence in a safe and nurturing environment like BPW can help raise the aspirations of working women.