Why There Are Less Women CEOs?

Sneha Santra
Sneha Santra Mar 27 2019 - 3 min read
Why There Are Less Women CEOs?
90% women leaders don’t see themselves becoming CEO

Women are shattering the glass ceiling across industries and are proving their mettle in a male-dominated workforce. While there has been an increase in the number of women at the executive levels, only 10% of women leaders are sure of becoming CEOs in their career.

According to a survey conducted by Times Jobs titled ‘Women in Corporate Boardrooms’ was undertaken by 500 women leaders and 1,000 women professionals across various industries. This survey conducted to understand how corporate are gearing up to promote women employees for executive roles. This highlighted the deep rooted barriers which hinder the women to attain that top level.

Career aspirations of working women: Realistic or unrealistic

One of the major barriers in women becoming CEOs is the career aspiration.

According to the survey, women professionals across industries were asked if they wanted to become the CEO of their company.  71% of respondents expressed their desire to become the CEO of their company, and only 29% of respondents said that they were not keen to become the CEO of their existing company.

Two way efforts are needed to get more women CEOs. Along with the industry, women also need to push themselves to take up leadership roles.

Although, most respondents expressed the desire to become CEO of their company, when asked about the possibilities of this happening, only 10% cited that they have a high probability of becoming the CEO. About 44% said that they have a very marginal chance of becoming a CEO.

Is gender diversity still a big concern at the executive level?

With many successful women in leadership positions, companies are still apprehensive about hiring women at executive leadership positions. Around 18% of women professionals stated that their organisations are not willing to hire women at senior leadership positions. Of these, 60% cite that challenges like marriage, maternity leaves, childbirth, etc. are a primary reason to not hire them at senior levels. Although, a majority (81%) of respondents revealed that their organisation encourages hiring women employees at executive levels.

Whereas, around 44% of women leaders claimed that companies prefer hiring young women at executive positions. Around 29% of respondents said that young women are only hired for supportive roles, followed by 27% of respondents who believed that they are hired for operational roles.

Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig, said, “There is a positive trend for the hiring of women at senior leadership positions. Today, organisations look for competencies that make a leader and are therefore looking to eliminate gender biases while hiring and promotion. In the coming future, diversity will become a core focus area for organisations as it is a key driver of performance for any organisation.”

Changing the composition of boardrooms

Around 52% of industry leaders said that they have an equal number of men and women at the executive level. Despite the fact, 42% of respondents said that their existing workforce at executive levels includes more men and lesser women.

As per 42% of respondents, the healthcare sector has the highest number of women employees at the executive positions. While the IT sector and BPO sector have the second and the third highest number of women working at senior positions.


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