Infographic: Why Women’s Leadership is Still an Issue

Rachel Zurer July 5, 2016

Here's Why We're Still Talking About Women's Leadership

We know that… Yet…
Women make up 50% of the global working-age population and provide 75% of unpaid care work worldwide Women generate only 37% of global GDP.
·      The cost of turnover for knowledge workers ranges from 200 to 500% of salary.

·      Compared with men at the same level, SVP-level women are 20% less likely to leave, and women in the C-suite are about half as likely to leave.

Women only make up 23% of SVP leaders and 17% of C-suite executives.
·      Companies with the highest number of women on the board of directors outperform those with the lowest by 16% on return on sales and by 26% on return on invested capital.

·      Companies with women directors had a lower risk of insolvency than other companies.

·      A higher percentage of women directors is correlated with higher Corporate Social Performance ratings.


As of 2013, women only held 17% of board seats in the U.S.


Studies have shown that:

o   Gender balanced teams create better conditions for innovation.

o   More gender diversity increases the probability that priority deliverables are achieved before schedule.

o   The collective intelligence of a group significantly correlates to the proportion of females in the group.


Less than half of workers believe that gender diversity is a top priority for their CEO, and only a third view it as a top priority for their direct manager. (note: women are less likely than men to see gender diversity as a priority for their manager and CEO)


Companies with women CEOs have experienced better financial performance, outperforming both the market and their industries by up to 28%. Only 5% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs.


Women outperformed men on the majority of leadership competencies in several studies, including “tenacity,” “practices self- development,” and “displays high integrity and honesty.” Female leaders are held to more rigorous standards and are more likely to be fired than their male counterparts.
Women still make just 78 cents for every dollar men make. Only 63% of men say the country needs to continue to make changes to give men and women equality in the workplace.


McKinsey Global Institute, “The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth,” September 2015


Deloitte, “The gender dividend: Making the business case for investing in women,” 2013.

LeanIn and McKinsey & Company, “Women in the Workplace 2015”


Catalyst, “The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance And Women’s Representation On Boards (2004–2008)”, 2011

Nick Wilson and Ali Altanlar, “Director Characteristics, Gender Balance and Insolvency Risk: An Empirical Study,” Social Science Research Network (2009).

Soares, Rachel, Heather Foust-Cummings, Claude Francoeur, and Réal Labelle.

Companies Behaving Responsibly: Gender Diversity on Boards. New York: Catalyst, 2015

Rachel Soares, Mark J. Bartkiewicz, Liz Mulligan-Ferry, Emily Fendler, and Elijah Wai Chun Kun, 2013 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors (Catalyst, 2013)

The Lehman Brothers Centre for Women in Business, “Innovative Potential: Men and Women in Teams,” 2007

Turner, L. (2009) ‘Gender diversity and innovative performance’, Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 4, Nos. 2/3, pp.123–134.

Anita Williams Woolley, et al, “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups,” Science, 29 October 2010.

LeanIn and McKinsey & Company, “Women in the Workplace 2015”

Catalyst, “Why Diversity Matters,” July 2013

Pew Research Center, “Women and Leadership,” 2015

Catalyst, “Why Diversity Matters,” July 2013

Barling, Julian (2014), The Science of Leadership, Lessons from Research for Organizational Leaders (208) New York, Oxford University Press


White House Council Of Economic Advisers Issue Brief, “Gender Pay Gap: Recent Trends And Explanations,” April 2015

Pew Research Center, “Women and Leadership,” 2015


Stakeholder Capitalism
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