Hey Ladies, you may not be aware of this, but we have way more education than the guys these days. The image above shows the percentage of female/male for degrees awarded at all levels in US. 1981 was the point of equity and we have been gaining nonstop ever since. If it continues, things will be really out of whack by 2021.
As you can see, it appears that this looks like it could be an issue for the guys. But this post isn’t about them. It’s about us.
We’ve got the education. Let me say that again – We’ve GOT the education. We clearly did not have it before, say in the 70’s. But now we do, so what’s up? Even with all of our MBAs and PhDs we are treading water impact-wise on Corporate America. Why aren’t we taking over the world, or at least a few more Board seats?
When I first began researching this, I hoped to find one clear answer. I was very disappointed. This is a sticky monster. There is no simple answer. There are a LOT of things going on.
- We (both women and men) have our subconscious beliefs that affect how we expect women to act.
- We have a lack of role models, sponsors and informal networks.
- We have unaffordable child care options and inflexible work models.
- We have our own self-doubt coupled with the unspoken, but very real expectation, that we must perform 2.5 times as well as the men at what we do.
- We are hired and promoted based on proof, while men are hired and promoted based on potential.
But, even with all of that going on, we’ve got the brains and perseverance to finish all of those degrees. It’s like we haven’t yet realized how smart and capable we really are. We seem to have needed time to claim it for ourselves.
Well, it’s time for us to come into the full realization of what we know and put our skills into action. Let’s stop letting our degrees simply collect dust and start making some waves. The world needs feminine leadership to shift this world out of its current crazy place.
Let me know what you think about the education stats. Did you realize this or was it a surprise to you? Do you see other factors at work that keep us from leadership positions?
Stay tuned for my next post with details of a worldwide survey that supports the current need for feminine leadership skills.
Joanne Vitali is a certified coach and workshop leader who specializes working with women with technical or multiple degrees. Contact her to speak at your upcoming women’s event or for a complimentary exploratory session.