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Viewpoint - Bob Gershberg - March 2022



Women in Leadership

by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search

As we enter the middle of Women’s History Month, it is important to note the great advances women have made as well as the obstacles women continue to face in the workforce and more specifically in leadership roles. Studies have outlined that companies with greater gender diversity, not just within their workforce but directly among senior leaders, are significantly more profitable than those without.

In a report by McKinsey & Company, greater gender diversity on the senior executive team corresponded to the highest performance boost in their data set. For every 10% increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by a glaring 3.5%. From this data, we can determine that women leaders have a measurable impact on an organization’s bottom line.

When women become leaders, they provide a different set of skills, imaginative perspectives, and structural and cultural differences that drive effective solutions. Women are powerful agents of change, and the far-reaching benefits of diversity and gender parity in leadership and decision-making are increasingly recognized in all arenas. Notwithstanding, women continue to be vastly under-represented in decision-making in politics, businesses, and communities.


When women hold more executive leadership positions, their companies are more profitable. Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform the national average. In 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29%, the highest number ever recorded. In 2020, this percentage remained the same.

According to Grant Thornton, the share of women in Senior Management is increasing incrementally. In 2021, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 31%, the highest number ever recorded. Ninety percent of companies worldwide have at least one woman in a senior management role as of 2021. In 2021, 26% of all CEOs and managing directors were women, compared to only 15% in 2019.The Fortune Global 500 reported an all-time high of 23 women CEOs in 2021, including six women of color.

Women continue to experience gender wage gaps worldwide. Among OECD countries, the overall gender wage gap as of 2019 was 12.5%. While the average appears close to parity, there can still be a large variation between countries. For instance, Japan had a gap of 22.5% while Mexico had a pay gap of 9.6% in 2020. Leading causes of the gender pay gap include gender segregation in jobs, differences in educational attainment, caregiving responsibilities that fall heavily to women, a lack of pay transparency, discrimination, and bias.

The news is particularly good about women’s capability, effectiveness and resilience. Conversely, the bad news is women still face tremendous headwinds in terms of biases. Women can find their strength, express their voice and apply their talents and they can shape the conditions for others. The state of women’s progress in the workplace and in leadership isn’t just a women’s issue. It is an issue for all of us—so we can build communities where we can tap into the very best.

Be well! Stay safe!

All the best,


Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner|

727 244-4113

Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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