Census data shows us that more women are graduating with bachelors and graduate degrees, but when we look at professional America we see a lack of females in leadership. As we focus in on just corporate America, there are just 3% of Female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies according to The White House Project.
There’s a problem.
If only 3% of this list is made up of women, but millions of motivated women are entering the job market every decade- in more numbers than men, we have an issue. The trajectory of women in the workplace is skewed when compared to men. In a 2012 study from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) it was found that an $8,000 salary gap between men and women right out of college & employed full time existed. With that, women earned only 82 cents out of every dollar men earned. And when men and women worked the same number of hours, women still earned 7% less than men.
The Guardian released a report on these discrepancies stating, “Women accept that they may take a job below their expectations and work up from there.”
What’s the solution?
Yao Huang from The Hatchery, an ecosystem for business acceleration, believes that the solution starts with exposing young women to other women that have achieved great success. That’s why she’s teamed up with a star-studded cast of partners including the Wall Street Journal and the United Nation’s “The Happiness Assembly”, to host the Womens Leadership Summit, an ongoing series of events geared at inspiring women to lead and create change through empowerment and showcasing amazing women.
Francis Hesselbein, Christine Comaford, Carole Hyatt, and Garbriella Stern will be a few of the women speaking at the event but there are sure to be hundreds of amazing role-models and leaders there.
What do we do when our ladies leave, guys?
Womens empowerment isn’t just a mens issue- it’s an issue for all of us. When women have better jobs and higher positions then our homes and lives are also elevated while our economies are stronger. Women are largely relegated to more vulnerable forms of employment today—imagine a world where they aren’t predisposed to these positions, we’d have safer and happier families; drastically better lives.
This isn’t a zero-sum game. At stake here is winnings or losses for all of us because we are all in this together. Protecting the old boys club only hurts our future. According to Diversity Inc. it’s not just women who are disadvantaged in the workplace, 1.2% of all Fortune 500 CEO’s are Black, 1.2% are Latino, and 1.6% are Asian.
Nearby New York City on June 26th from 6-9PM? RSVP here for the Women Leadership Summit. Both Men and Women should go, absorb, and find community. Whether you’re in the majority or the minority of these statistics, you share the world with us and our futures are interconnected.
Ask yourself: If my birth was like a roll of the dice and I could be born Black, White, Yellow or Brown—man or woman…would I want to change the way things work or is everything swell and fair?
See you on June 26th! Follow me on Twitter for updates @Marvin_Mathew