In March, I wrote about the lack of women in corporate boardrooms, especially diverse women.
Now that most companies have been through several rounds of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, a couple of disturbing trends have begun to emerge, promising to push back the advances made in the last decade to increase minorities and women in top jobs.
The first trend points to voluntary migration by women from top jobs. In an article published on Harvard Business Publishing’s website authored by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy. She cites some interesting statistics. According to the Center’s research at five of the top financial firms, “twice as many women in top jobs (54%) as men (22%) are considering leaving their positions.”
Why are they considering leaving and where are they headed?
A noteworthy statistic by the Center for Work-Life Policy: 40% of the surveyed women are looking to move to different sectors with nonprofit being high on their list. A direct trend of this migration is the fact that fewer women at the top mean fewer role models and mentors for younger women, especially diverse women. Initiatives and work that organizations like Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Women for Hire and Black Enterprise have been doing to raise these numbers, will suffer. Fewer role models mean fewer diverse candidates willing to aim high, compete for scholarships and grants, and advance in their careers.
To add to this, the trend hasn’t restricted itself to the U.S. In a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers among over 1,000 professionals in U.K., Europe and Australasia, 60% of the respondents believe that the this recession will reinforce the alleged glass ceiling for women, while 45% believe that this will lead more women to enter social enterprise roles.