Gender Forward: Where women lead, reputations succeed

New research: Companies with strong reputations have twice as many women leaders


“There Are Now More Fortune 500 Companies With All-Male Boards Than In 2015” – the headline of a March 28, 2016, Fortune article. Is this how corporations intend to be trending in this day and age? We at Weber Shandwick don’t think so. So we decided to dig deeper and what we found may surprise you:

Of the world’s 500 largest companies, not one has an equal representation of men and women in their top ranks. Not a single ONE.

That said, there’s reason to be hopeful: Those companies designated with a Fortune “Most Admired” status have twice as many women in senior management as those with lesser regarded corporate reputation (17% vs. 8%, respectively). We don’t think this is coincidental.

These insights and data are derived from Weber Shandwick’s Gender Forward Pioneer (GFP) 2016 Index, which measures the percentage of women in senior management positions at Fortune Global 500 companies. In a market with remarkably high Fortune 500 company presence, Twin Cities businesses can benefit from sincere consideration of this data and what can be done to address it.

Women in leadership roles is not new. It’s neither novel nor particularly noteworthy. What is noteworthy, however, is the lack of visibility and esteem women receive for such accomplishments as compared to their male counterparts. For example, did you know that companies with more women in senior executive roles report stronger financial performance? Combining these compelling facts with the notion that companies with women in senior management earn admiration and build brand reputation, we created Weber Shandwick’s Women Leaders Engagement program.

Weber Shandwick is committed to helping companies raise the visibility of their top female executives – earning them credit and recognition for their achievements. The Women Leaders Engagement offering focuses on advising accomplished C-suite executives and aspiring female leaders on enhancing their profiles, both externally and internally, to bolster company reputation and ultimately advance the pipeline of top female talent within their organizations.

If we work to give credit where credit is due – and start to let go of that Minnesota humility – we know we can make Gender-Forward Pioneers the rule, not the exception.

Gender Forward Pioneer Index, Weber Shandwick

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