Cracking the Glass Ceiling in Jacksonville

shattered-glassAccording to a recent editorial in the Times-Union, S&P 500 companies in Jacksonville have about half the national average of women sitting on their boards.  “Indeed, six of those companies have no women on their boards of directors,” states the article,  “Locally it appears that ceiling is made of marble.”

Why are women being excluded from the leadership positions in Jacksonville and the nation?  Here’s an excerpt from the editorial:

 

The answer is probably multifaceted. But much of it seems to rely on old stereotypes.

At the top of the list of reasons for the dearth of women in leadership positions is a perceived double standard in what’s required of men vs. women.

Four out of 10 people in the Pew survey said that women must work much harder than men to be noticed or to climb to the highest level of corporate leadership.

By a similar amount, respondents also said that corporate America simply wasn’t ready to place women in top leadership positions.

Both of these seemed to rely on a stereotype that women are not as talented or able as men to serve as leaders.

And then there’s the good old boy factor. Not that Pew called it that. It was phrased “women don’t have sufficient connections,” and it finished fourth on the list detailing why there aren’t more women in leadership positions.

For women, it’s a gendered Catch 22. They aren’t included in the good old boy network, so they can’t make the connections that matter when people are selected for leadership in corporations.

So what do we get? “Bro boards.”

It’s time to get rid of the stereotypes and make an effort to make professional networks more inclusive of both genders.

Corporations here need to reach out to women in the community, mentor them if needed and consciously include them in leadership positions.

 

Gender equity is not only a good thing to do, it is also good for business, our communities and our nation.

Click here to read the entire editorial from Jacksonville.com.