While more women are rising to the top
of the corporate ladder, a question persists: Why do female CEOs
still comprise such a small percentage of the highest leadership positions? Despite the fact that research underscores women's capabilities as corporate leaders and their positive effects
An extensive worldwide survey
showed that having women at the C-suite level significantly increases profit margins. And a study by the Harvard Business Review reported women scoring higher than men in most leadership
But research also partly sheds light on why women aren't proportionately represented in corporate leadership roles. Reasons include male-domianted corporate boards and leadership stereotypes
. Not to mention that women, in addition to having the bulk of at-home family responsibilities, can be seen as threatening to men when in leadership positions.
How can more women ascend to executive positions? Andreas Wilderer, author of Lean On: The Five Pillars Of Support For Women In Leadership, says it starts at home with a supportive husband who's willing to take on more of a household role while not worrying about reverse stereotypes—the stay-at-home dad or secondary bread-winner.
"Even though society is getting used to strong women in the workplace, men who take care of the house and kids are still often seen as an oddity," Wilderer says. "Old attitudes in society fade slowly, as many still believe that each sex should keep its place."
In many families, however, that place is changing. Change tends to begin not in the big arenas but in small places. And change starts within the family unit—long before many corporations and institutions recognize what is happening. Now more and more men are proudly accepting the role of staying home to fully support their wives and their career pursuits, and it's time more companies were supportive of women in well-earned leadership roles.
Four Ways To Make Leadership Opportunities More Accessible To Women:
"Ingrained attitudes take years to evolve into acceptance," Wilderer says. "Acceptance starts with simple gestures like the gifts but has to go much further—flexible hours, provided daycare, a partial home office. As far as women have come in the corporate structure, there are still too many barriers, and too few of them getting to fulfill their potential as leaders."
About Andreas Wilderer
is the author of
Lean On: The Five Pillars Of Support For Women in Leadership.
A business leader and entrepreneur, Wilderer worked in the events and marketing field. As Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths Coach he founded GLOBULARiTY LLC, a business coaching company that helps leaders grow and learn how to strengthen their Adaptability Quotient (AQ). While working on his business pursuits, Wilderer stayed at home and cared for his two children while his wife pursued her career. Recognizing that women can be providers and men can be nurturers, Wilderer began focusing on coaching female leaders while teaching men how to actively support them. As a motivational Keynote speaker he is advocating for females in leadership and the system they can Lean On.