Depressing Statistics

posted March 5th, 2010 by Janet Graham - One Comment

I have read Catalyst’s “Pipeline’s Broken Promise” report which was released in February 2010.  The authors of the report in a section entitled “A Wake Up Call that Demands An Answer” make the following comments: “For the past two decades leaders have counted on parity in education, women’s accelerated movement into the labour force, and company-implemented diversity and inclusion programs to yield a robust talent pipeline where women are poised to make rapid gains to the top. But results of this study show that these hopes were ill-founded — when it comes to top talent, women lag men in advancement, compensation, and career satisfaction. The pipeline is not healthy; inequality remains entrenched.”


And while I agree with Janice Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s USA LLC who says: “These findings are just deflating. I know so many women of my generation who have worked hard to make the situation better for women coming behind them. They’ve mentored, coached, led by example, and broken through countless barriers so the next generation would have a level playing field and advancement opportunities would be gender blind. This really calls companies to reexamine their recruitment, retention, and advancement efforts and accelerate efforts to fully engage the entire workforce, especially Gen Y’s.”


I don’t want to be deflated or angry; I want to be hopeful. (It’s not that I want to deny the statistics… far from it!! Frankly, I have always had a grudge against those who deny the obvious facts and statistics, particularly women. And  I love the fact that the authors of the report conclude: “It’s not a matter of different aspirations. The findings hold even when considering only men and women who aspired to CEO/senior executive level. It’s not a matter of parenthood. The findings hold even when considering only men and women who did not have children.”) I just don’t see anger getting us anywhere and it’s not the place I want to stand!  


What do we see about all of this that gives us hope? Where can we find the courage and inspiration to fuel the progress of those who are coming behind us? What can we do today, we couldn’t do years ago to make a real difference? What can we take away from the stories of the successful women I have profiled to date to ensure those coming behind us have a greater chance of success? What can they do for themselves? What can they expect corporations to do for them?


I believe the findings of these reports and others like them. However, they are just statistics and facts. I am intrigued by the thought of what we can and will do about them?


What about you? I would love to hear what you think!!

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One Response to “Depressing Statistics”

Comment from Sandy Graham
Time March 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Stats are just stats and they can be used to encourage or deflate. How to use them is a decision each individual has to make. The key to women expanding and leading in the work force is mentorship and role modelling. When an “intern” is discovered/encouraged giving them as much knowledge as you have is extremely important because knowledge is power. Modelling behaviour is an instant “in” into a company’s culture. When you have the knowledge and know the culture, the only direction on the ladder is up.

SJ Graham

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