Last month we looked at recent trends in leadership and learned how “softer” management styles that identify with “feminine” traits can be more effective than traditionally “masculine” styles of direction. This month, we’ll continue that discussion by looking at whether or not the move towards this leadership is translating into equality for women leaders, both in the work environment and in salary levels.
As young professionals committed to equality, all Jaycees should be concerned with some recently released statistics. The National Journal reports in their 2014 salary survey that, “Women made up just 22 percent of the 644 current and former CEOs in the survey. And those female executives were generally paid less than their male counterparts. No women were among the 25 highest-paid executives on the list; only five women landed in the top 50; and just 13 women were in the top 100. Overall, the median compensation of female CEOs with a full year of earnings was 15 percent lower and $59,063 less than that of their male counterparts.”
Furthermore, a recent benchmarking report by the Colorado Women’s College examined female leadership roles in 14 sectors of the economy and determined that, “Results revealed that women are outperforming men, but they are not earning salaries or obtaining leadership roles commensurate with their higher levels of performance.”
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Jaycee is the ability for our organization to look beyond issues of gender as we work to create and execute projects that help our local communities. As we encourage others to get involved and be active, our example will be to care about the individual, and not whether it’s a man or woman, black or white – we can all be leaders. The Jaycees will continue to be a model of equality for other groups and organizations to learn from, and it becomes our responsibility, as we interact in the professional world, to promote these same values outside of projects and chapter meetings. Promoting equality and discouraging discrimination is a great way to improve your work environment and ensure your team moves in a positive, inclusive direction – just like your local Jaycee chapter!
The Colorado Women’s College study provides a nice summary why it is in our best interests to strive for equality, “What we learned while conducting this extensive research is that at the highest levels of leadership, women – who now comprise more than half of U.S. college graduates – continue to be inadequately represented, yet when diversity is present, results significantly improve. This study proves the point that including women in leadership teams is a smart investment for any organization to make.”