As the years have progressed, more women are shattering the glass ceiling. More than 80% of American companies have at least 2 women on their boards, and 60% have two or more women on their elite executive committees. More and more women are finding ways to break the barrier. Unfortunately upon breaking through the glass ceiling, they are realizing that another one has been created at the “C-Suite” level, preventing them from reaching the pinnacles of America’s business world.
20-first, a British consultancy firm reported in its annual Gender Balance Scorecard that there is a need for Americans to look more closely at the number of women on their corporate executive committees. “C-suite” executives, who can make executive decisions on behalf of the board and define company policy, tend to be men. The women that do make it onto executive committees are typically slotted into support roles. In fact, only 17 percent of executive committee members at the 100 largest U.S. corporations are women, and two-thirds of those are in roles like HR or communications. Rather than looking at the number of female board members, the number of women as part of the executive committee acts as a better gauge of progress towards removing the glass ceiling. Additionally, increasing the number of senior women executives may instigate change on issues such as equal pay. Terri McClements, US Human Capital Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers believes that the pay gap is exacerbated by the lack of women in senior leadership roles.
Some companies have begun leading the way in executive-team balance. Target and TIAA-CREF were the only 2 of the 100 U.S. companies that has achieved executive committee gender integration. Do you think that there are multiple glass ceilings in place? What change would you expect from breaking the barriers?