The topic of gender diversity has been a popular theme in the popular press and academic literature in the last couple of years. Awareness groups have been formed to speak into the diversity debate, and to promote the interests of women in business. Research reports have identified a correlation between women and performance, in that the presence of women in Boardrooms and executive suites seems to enhance company performance. However, the research is not conclusive, and a sound causal explanation is yet to emerge.
With all this interest and activity, you would think women would be actively pursuing executive positions, particularly the C-suite. I thought this as well—until I read McKinsey's report entitled Unlocking the full potential of women at work. The most intriguing insight was that, despite their career success, 59% of women said they did not aspire to the C-suite. The main reasons for the reluctance? Structural obstacles, lifestyle choices, and corporate politics in the C-suite. While the market seems to be keen to provide opportunities for women to participate in all levels of the business community (which I applaud), it seems that for some roles at least, women just aren't interested.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.