Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2017 - 13

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
DR. SHAWN ANDREWS

THE LEADERSHIP

GENDER GAP
Throughout history, there have been
various gaps: racial, gender, income,
education, skills gaps, etc. Society today
is not any different. Even though we
have greater technological capabilities
now than ever before, we have a shortage
of people with skills. For example, there
are not enough experts in the STEM
fields, effective communication, critical
thinking and advanced leadership.
The skills we learn in school and
the experiences we acquire are not
always aligned to what employers are
looking for.
The education gap in gender has
undergone massive shifts recently.
Today, 60 percent of bachelor degrees
in the U.S. and Europe are obtained by
women. Women account for nearly half
of all JD and MD degrees conferred in the
U.S. Women of all races are becoming
the most skilled workers in the job
market, yet many companies are remiss
in developing this high-potential talent
pool as their next generation of leaders.
There is a pay gap in the overall earnings
ratio across all occupations, with women
earning an average of 79 cents for every
dollar a man earns for the same position.
Per the U.S. Labor Department, the top
three most common occupations for
women in 2014 were secretaries or
administrative assistants, elementary or
middle school teachers and registered
nurses. Even within these three jobs,
women earn less. Female secretaries
and administrative assistants earn
85 percent of men's salary, with
female elementary and middle school
teachers earning 87 percent and female

registered nurses earning 90 percent. In
fact, none of the top 25 most common
occupations have women earning more
than men.
A popularly discussed and studied gap
is the leadership gender gap. Women
occupy 52 percent of all management
and professional occupations, yet at
Fortune 500 companies, they hold only
19 percent of board seats, 15 percent
of executive officer positions and 5.8
percent of CEO positions. There is a
significant leadership racial gap: the
number of Caucasians in leadership
positions compared to other races and
ethnicities. Women of color hold only 3
percent of board seats.

WOMEN OF
ALL RACES ARE
BECOMING THE MOST
SKILLED WORKERS IN
THE JOB MARKET.
More than any other statistic, the
number of Fortune 500 female CEOs
has become a barometer for measuring
the amount of progress toward gender
parity. This number has fluctuated from
3 percent to about 6 percent in the
last several years, with an average of
4.5 percent. The 5.8 percentage equals
29 female CEOs, with 471 male CEOs
running the remaining 500 companies.
The leadership gap has obvious
implications for all of us at work. It
represents how we develop our talent,
work culture and decision-making, how

we engage our employees, connect
with our customers, plan and value
diversity and inclusion.
There are ways to close this gap. First,
CEOs need to make gender balance a
strategic lever to achieving business
goals. Put gender balance on the agenda
as a top goal. Second, implement key
initiatives that support gender equality.
These include increased and more
inclusive networking opportunities,
skill-building, career development
programs (mentoring) and leadership
development programs (sponsorships).
Third, set and measure targets.
Establish concrete targets regarding
gender parity, and then measure the
progress by using clear metrics to
count the number of women at all
levels and areas of your business. Who
is promoted most often? Who is leaving
the company and when? What types of
roles do men and women hold? Create
graphs to help paint a picture.
Globalization is heating up the
competition for innovative and talented
workers with the skills needed for
tomorrow's workplace. Let's hope that
more companies will invest the time
and resources needed to help close
these significant gaps.
Dr. Shawn Andrews has 23 years of
biopharmaceutical leadership experience.
Her dissertation research focused on
leadership, emotional intelligence, gender
and unconscious bias in the workplace She
is CEO of Andrews Research International.
Email Shawn.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - MIND THE GAP 201 7 I WWW . T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2017

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