- Adobe, Best Buy, the Clorox Company, Nasdaq and PepsiCo are some of top S&P 500 companies for women to advance, according to a July 13 list from Parity.org, a nonprofit focused on closing the gender gap in executive leadership.
- Although women make up half the workforce in the U.S., they are paid less and face more barriers to leadership positions, according to Parity.org. The 35 companies on the list were grouped into three tiers based on employee count and evaluated in the areas of benefits, executive preparation, recruitment and representation. The report found that 82% of medium-sized companies analyzed have made a public commitment to gender parity in leadership that includes vice presidents and higher, compared to 64% of large companies and 30% of small companies.
- The majority (71%) of companies required recruiters to include at least one qualified female candidate for executive and board positions. Medium-sized companies (30%) were more likely than large companies (18%) and small companies (14%) to have a female CEO. Family-friendly policies for parents that all companies on the list had included telecommute options (92%); equal parental leave for men and women (73%); and parental leave for at least three months (71%).
The obstacles that prevent many women from obtaining executive leadership positions appear at the first opportunity for a management position, according to multiple studies.
Women in the Workplace 2019, published by LeanIn.org and McKinsey in October, found that for every 100 men promoted and hired to manager at organizations, 72 women are promoted and hired. "This early inequality has a long-term impact on the talent pipeline [because] there are significantly fewer women to hire or promote to senior managers," the authors of the report said. Some of the recommendations in the report included prioritizing getting more women into first-level management and establishing clear evaluation criteria as well as providing unconscious bias training for evaluators.
Looking at controlled pay gaps, which account for factors such as industry, job title, location, experience and education, is an effective way to evaluate a position under the concept "equal pay for equal work," WorldatWork's Director of Executive Compensation Strategy Sue Holloway told HR Dive in a recent interview. For example, a PayScale report, The State of the Gender Pay Gap 2020, released in March found that women in the controlled group make $0.98 for every $1 a man makes, and the controlled gender pay gap has only decreased by $0.01 since 2015. When looking at the impact of lost wages during a 40-year career, a two-cent disparity cost women $80,000, according to the report. Research conducted by the National Women's Law Center has found the gender pay gap is even wider for women of color.
When women lead a company, Parity.org's research indicated that those companies may be more committed to gender parity. There was a strong relationship between having gender parity on a board of directors and having a female CEO, according to the report. Of the companies on Parity.org's list that reported their board is composed of at least 50% women, more than half (67%) had a female CEO.