Disparity Remains in Corporate World

Women in the U.S. get almost 60 percent of four-year degrees and make up nearly half of the workforce, but women held only 14 percent of senior executive positions of Fortune 500 companies. That figure has remained relatively unchanged since 2005. The CEO of Catalyst cites “social norms that are so gendered and so stereotyped that even though we think we’ve gone pas them, we really haven’t.” She says that men tend to be promoted on promise, while women are forced to prove themselves multiple times. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the president of the Center for Work-Life Policy says woman need sponsors to move up the ranks. “Woman tend to be overmentored and undersponsored,” she says. Hewlett adds, “When women have a sponsor they really do move up, but you can’t just be a wallflower and wait for someone to pick you.”