Increase the Number of Female Heads of State
This year saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel be honored as Time’s Person of the Year. In the U.S., Hilary Clinton is a top Democratic presidential candidate and Carly Fiorina has made headlines running for the GOP. And 2015 has seen a record number of female heads of state…at 22 in total. This is still a very small representation of women in heads of state, and many of those currently serving are the first female heads of state in their respective countries. In 2016, we want to see this number get closer to a 50/50 representation – and there are opportunities to work towards it!
Increase the Number of Female CEOs/Women in C-Suite Positions
It is clear why this is an imperative for advancing women’s leadership. What is needed is the answer to how we accomplish this. Companies lagging behind need to go through a culture shift to create more opportunities for advancement. In addition, increased mentorship will help provide a pathway to leadership positions.
Increase the Number of Women Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is a great way to bypass the glass ceiling. In addition, female entrepreneurs can lead to way to creating a better working world for women by creating better family leave policies, increasing mentorship roles, and paving a path for other women to follow. In 2016, we want to see more female entrepreneurs gain the funding necessary to start innovative businesses and have more opportunities to bring their ideas forward.
Close the Pay Gap
According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum, it may take 118 years to close the pay gap. Anyone concerned with women’s leadership, or gender equality in general, knows that this is appallingly unacceptable. It might not be possible to close the pay gap fully in 2016, but we can see it shrink. In the new year, we want to see the more companies take accountability for closing gender-based pay disparity.
See Family Leave Become a More Prominent Part of Business
From companies such as Netflix or Spotify, increased family leave has been a major issue in 2015. Trends indicate there will be more progress made in family leave, but many women (and men) are still being denied appropriate time off to be with their families. Companies offering generous leave not only help women but also men who are raising families in a dual-income, single parent or stay-at-home-dad family. In helping to provide better work-life balance, increased family leave sets us all up for better gender equality in the workplace in 2016.
Raise the Enrollment and Graduation Rate for Women in STEMGetting more women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) helps the world in two key ways: it gives women more opportunities, and it gives the world a deeper talent pool for these highly important fields. There are many initiatives involved to getting more professional women into the STEM fields as well as supporting more girls into STEM subjects. This issue is also important to the White House as they issued this resource to help get girls involved in STEM education and help women pursue STEM careers.
Give All Girls Access to Education
Educating girls builds the pipeline of tomorrow’s female leaders. More than that though, it is one of, if not the, most essential ways to combat gender inequality. Unfortunately, there are still many young girls in the world who don’t receive an education – 62 million girls are denied education all over the world. Correcting that wrong will have a major positive impact in 2016 and beyond. Fortunately, there are many people fighting for this cause today. We resolve to support these efforts whenever and wherever we can.
Equal Employment Opportunity for Women
Women’s leadership can’t advance if there aren’t equal employment opportunities for women. Women receive unequal access to employment opportunities in a variety of ways. Women approaching the c-level are often denied the opportunity to break through. But this can also occur prior to women hitting that level as there are still issues with becoming eligible in the first place. To help women develop into C-suite leaders there needs to be greater employment opportunity for women from entry level to the highest level. In 2016, we want to see more employment opportunities open up for all women.
Do you have a resolution for advancing women’s leadership in 2016? Please share with us the Progressive Women’s Leadership community in the comments below.