In today’s complex and highly competitive business environment, where companies have multiple customers in multiple markets all demanding custom-designed solutions to their issues, the organizations that are able to execute multiple initiatives quickly and flexibly have an edge over competitors. Companies are finding that they must move from vertical and hierarchical forms to horizontal and networked models that are more flexible, adaptive and necessary in today’s world. This is where a more transformational style of leadership with a high degree of collaboration, cooperation and communication is necessary. Women — and yes, many men — are great at these skills.
So if women have the skills necessary to be effective and top quality managers, why aren’t more of them occupying the corner office? The unfortunate truth is that women don’t often get the chance. Subtle and pervasive bias against women as managers makes it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for women to both excel as a leader and be admired for the competencies she brings to the job.
Progress has been made; the sheer number of women finally making their way to senior corporate management and running their own significant enterprises point to the fact that women have been and will continue to gain a greater voice in how business is done. But we’re far from equality. Compensation and discrimination are two areas that are especially contentious.