The Data Is In: Companies Aren't Promoting Women

On International Women's Day, it's time to really look at how many women have made it to the C-suite. 

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It's not exactly news that women struggle to make it to the top jobs at a company—they typically lack the strong networks and mentorship available to their male counterparts, and often more acutely feel the pressures of home and family life, which can interfere with career success. Despite that, women do strive to excel in corporate jobs—an earlier Real Simple survey showed that women are extremely ambitious in the workplace and want to find success. Unfortunately, the latest Gender Forward Pioneer Index from Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm, reveals that many women just aren't making it to the top.

The Index, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), looks at the percentage of senior women at Global Fortune 500 Companies. These 500 companies are determined annually by Fortune, and ranked based on revenue. This year, they found that women make up less than 11 percent of senior executives across the world, and almost 40 percent of these companies have all-male leadership teams. What's surprising, though, is that companies designated "Most Admired" have double the women on their leadership teams compared to those companies with less impressive reputations.

The silver lining is that North America is the region with the highest proportion of senior women at management level, where 20 percent of executives are women. Sweden, however, is the individual nation with the highest proportion (27 percent) of senior jobs filled by women. For the full press release, visit Weber Shandwick, and review LeanIn.org's Women in the Workplace study to better understand the challenges women face as they work their way to the top.