Women's advancement in 2010—it's not just for Kathryn Bigelo

by Vault Consulting Editors | March 08, 2010

  • My Vault

While women have made great strides in the global workforce (and in the film industry), a Deloitte survey shows that women still aren't making as many waves in leadership positions as they are in midlevel and managerial roles. In fact, only 43 percent of survey participants believe women have advanced significantly in leadership positions in the past decade! One exception is in the public sector, which has seen more women rise to the top than in the private sector. But most respondents believe (or hope) that that trend in the public sector will rub off onto the private sector.

Kathryn Bigelow Oscar night

The survey was conducted in conjunction with Deloitte's second annual International Women's Day (it's today!) webcast. The webcast featured a number of leading ladies from around the world, who discussed women's upward trajectory in the workplace and the challenges they encounter.

The good news for women is that companies are increasingly seeing them as strong employees. According to an Accenture, in a study (also conducted in honor of IWD) of senior execs in over 20 countries, 71 percent of respondents said they consider women to be more resilient workers than their male counterparts—resilience, in this case, defined as "the ability to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities." And that quality happens to be one of the strongest determining factors of employee retention during an economic downturn.

Other findings of note? Corporate women's leadership programs have remained stable through the downturn, and companies with leading financial performance offer women a number of professional development opportunities for women.

The conclusion, in this case, is that companies that have the resources to do so are nurturing their female talent to produce their best and take on leadership roles. Gender diversity continues to be a pressing issue across all workplaces, and slowly but surely, we'll continue to see progress in that area.

Do you know of any companies that are going out of their way to promote women's development? Click here to see which companies stood out in Vault's 2010 diversity rankings.

Filed Under: Consulting

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