In a world craving leadership, why is women’s brilliance masked by our gender?

By Jennifer Reynolds

“With the introduction of blind auditions in the 1970s, the proportion of women in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra went from zero to close to 50 per cent. From arts to sciences, the brilliance bias is pervasive, and the corporate world is no different. Faith in the “blindness” of the meritocracy continues to be a stubborn barrier for women’s advancement into leadership roles in the economy.

Despite the fact women have represented more than 50 per cent of university graduates for more than 30 years, women still represent less than 5 per cent of CEOs. Similarly, women hold a mere 5 per cent of board chair roles. Why should we focus on those two roles in particular? The CEO and chair of the board play the most influential roles in our economy. The strategy and goals for the business, the agenda of the board, and the culture of the organization, are largely defined by the individuals who hold those two pivotal roles in an organization. Women hold 5 per cent of the most influential roles in our economy, yet we represent close to half of the work force and more than half of the population.”

Source: The Globe and Mail, Leadership Lab