Women in Executive Leadership: Now Comes the Hard Part

The senior vice president of corporate communications at Aflac on women in the workplace and why gender equality helps everyone.
Apr 7, 2017 8:00 AM ET

Catalyst now reports that women comprise only 9.5 percent of top wage earners in the S&P 500. A 2015 CNNMoney analysis shows that women hold only 14.2 percent of the top-five leadership positions at those same companies. This is in spite of the fact that women represent more than 50 percent of the consumer pool and nearly half of the S&P 500 workforce.

Such statistics continue to frustrate those making even sincere efforts to address disparities. For businesses with the will to help balance the proportion of women in senior leadership roles, a generally accepted set of best practices is emerging. Companies making gains in female leadership seem to be following similar scripts, regardless of industry:

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