Innumerable studies have listed the challenges female executives face daily. Many of those studies highlight the gender imbalance and gender pay gap still rampant in America. America ranks 31st in terms of female leadership: women hold only 14.6% of executive-level positions. Compared with the international average, 24%, Russia leads the nations in executive female representation with women holding 43% of senior management positions. Georgia, historically a difficult state for powerful women to find fulfilling careers, is taking strides to bridge the gender gap.
Difficulties Faced by Female Executives
According to numerous studies, women have a more developed sense of home responsibility than their husbands. Motherhood can interrupt or stagnate a flourishing career, forcing powerful women to make tough choices about their priorities. But the work/life balance isn’t the only setback female executives must overcome.
- Women are more inclined to underrate their executive skills than men.
- Female executives tend to be strategic in networking and utilizing favors, which, counter-intuitively, often stagnates forward motion.
- Tradition female success means diligent work without upward expansion. Many working women and promoting managers fall into the business trap of the “glass ceiling”.
- Women still receive less compensation than men for the same tasks.
- Many senior executives are not inclined to root out inherent gender biases that may lead to an imbalanced leadership team.
Georgia and the Executive Gender Gap
Historically, Georgia has treated career-driven women poorly. According to a 2013 study, Georgia ranked 43rd in America for female executive leadership; those women also face lower economic security than men. However, Georgia—particularly the metro Atlanta area—is climbing the ranks quickly. According to an American Express OPEN report published earlier this year, Georgia leads the country in female-owned business growth over the last 17 years. Two-thirds of Georgia’s 317,200 women-owned firms began in metro Atlanta.
“Women stick together,” financial advisor Ellecia Douglas told the AJC. “We typically support one another.” Nancy Chorpenning, another C-suite level Atlanta businesswoman, attributes Atlanta’s growth in female entrepreneurs to networking skills and a predisposition to mentorship. Others credit the economic recession, the female-friendly market, and women’s desire to find creative solutions for ordinary problems.
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