Twenty-two percent. Thats a dividing line indicated by McKinsey & Co. research into womens share of the top ranks of U.S. companies.
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
Theres been a lot of national discussion lately about whether women want to lean in to leadership roles. Some do. Some dont. Its a choice.
But for those who aspire to chief officer or board positions, Joanna Barsh, director emeritus at McKinsey, advises: When youre looking at a company, find out their percentage of women at the top. Look for at least 22 percent. In our mind, that separates out the good companies.
When at least one in five of the C-level officers CEO, CFO, COO and the like are women, or at least one in five board members are women, Barsh says that indicates the organization has been supporting women in leadership for a while.
Barsh devoted part of her career to the McKinsey Centered Leadership Project, focused on developing women leaders. She counsels women who want to hold top corporate positions to look for organizations that:
Have been committed to gender diversity for at least 10 years. Some of the best in class have women-in-leadership records that go back 60, even 100, years.
Have chief executives who have been vocal about being raised by mothers who worked or who speak out about leveling the playing field for underdogs.
Have women in line management positions responsible for revenues or profits, not just in staff support positions such as human resources, communication or community affairs.
Have publicized flexible work options that can help balance family and career demands.
Barsh notes that a drive to reach the top is held by only about one-third of men and about 18 percent of women. Not everyone wants to take on the extra time, travel and stress to climb the ladder.
But if thats what you want, find fertile ground on which to stake your claim.
To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to email@example.com. Follow her online at kansascity.com/workplace and twitter.com/kcstarstafford.