Corporations

The largest companies in the U.S. – those with gross annual revenues of at least $20 billion – report a larger representation of women and other underrepresented groups on their boards of directors. Seventy percent have at least two women and 53 percent have two or more directors from underrepresented groups. Women managers, however, are increasingly opting out of high-end careers when companies fail to meet their professional needs and goals. Fewer than 15 percent of Fortune 500 officers and directors are women, and graduate business schools (unlike law and medical schools) have far fewer women than men applicants. NCRW is supporting efforts to make the corporate environment more welcoming and the career ladder more accessible to women and people of color.

The Female Vision: Women's Real Power at Work

At an NCRW expert panel on September 29, 2010 at American Express, authors Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson provided compelling evidence for the view that companies with both women and men in strategic leadership positions have a competitive advantage over companies that do not. The particular strengths of women - their broad-spectrum vision, empathy
and interpersonal skills, and their value-based, collaborative style - are increasingly recognized, but still under-valued in assessing leadership potential.

Building a Pipeline to Women's Leadership

NCRW held an expert panel on February 28, 2011 at American Express with senior leaders from business, government, and academia to explore the case for, barriers to, and action steps needed to expand the number of women in leadership positions. While many overt barriers to women’s advancement have been largely dismantled, and the pipeline to leadership is filled with highly qualified women, the embedded prejudices in our institutions and culture as well as the expectations women have for their professional and personal lives, especially younger women, still pose challenges.

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