A comprehensive new research study, "ToGetHerThere: Girls' Insights on Leadership," commissioned by Girl Scouts in partnership with GFK Roper, reveals that while girls are generally optimistic about their futures, they still see glass ceilings in today's society that will get in the way of achieving their leadership potential. The study, based on a telephone survey of 1,000 girls aged 8-17, found that close to three in five girls think that a woman can rise up in a company but will only rarely be put in a senior leadership role. Additionally, more than one-third of girls say they would not feel comfortable trying to be a leader, while almost 40 percent are not sure if they are cut out to be a leader.
"It is abundantly clear that our girls have a vision of their leadership potential that is incompatible with what we know they can achieve," says Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "The ToGetHerThere campaign is the launch of a cause to impact our girls now, so that we can inspire them to achieve leadership roles in all aspects of society."
Girl Scouts has launched a $1 billion philanthropic campaign for girls to fuel this effort, and to fund opportunities that enable girls to lead. Ninety percent of funds raised will go directly to services and programs for girls across the nation and in 94 countries globally to help fill critical talent gaps in finance, science, technology, environmental, and global leadership arenas.
CAWP offers fact sheets, graphics, research reports, and other information organized both by topic and by level of office. Additional research can be found in our Research & Scholarship section. Includes current numbers of women in elective office, data and analysis for current and past races with women candidates, by election year, data and analysis of women's voting behavior, facts, research, and resources for and about women of color in elective office, state-by-state fact sheets, firsts for women in U.S. politics, etc.
The moniker was famously applied in 1992 when four women were elected to the Senate, a high watermark for the chamber that has never been surpassed.
This year, however, a notable number of candidates are running in potentially competitive races in both the House of Representatives and Senate that could send a wave of female lawmakers to Washington in November. If so, it would reverse the 2010 election trend that saw the first dip in female representation in the House since 1978 and only sent one woman, New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte, to the Senate.
In the 2012 Senate lineup, there are 10 female candidates — four Republicans and six Democrats — seeking office. Of the six states with female Democratic candidates — Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota and Wisconsin — none has ever elected a woman to the Senate.
Republican women are running in Connecticut, Hawaii, Missouri and New Mexico.
"Both parties have made a concerted effort to attract more women candidates," said Jessica Taylor, a senior analyst for the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. Taylor said campaign operations are cognizant of seeking out diverse candidates and female candidates can be particularly appealing because independent female voters are often a decisive voting bloc in elections.
Modeled on a national program, the Madison-based nonprofit is training a generation of progressive Democratic women how to run for public office and win.
The program "helped me to consolidate the campaign structure, and it helped me to be more effective in my message," said state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber, D-Appleton, who completed the training alongside state Sen. Jessica King, D-Oshkosh, in 2007.
The six-month program covers everything from building a field operations team to the fine print of campaign finance, and each class is limited to 25 women, who must apply for a spot in the program.
In 2011, women held 7.5% of executive officer top earner positions at Fortune 500 companies and a miniscule 3.6% of those firms have women as CEOs. According to a study by Pax World, Calvert and Walden Asset Management, a paltry 9.4% of directors on global corporate boards are women. We make up 46.7% of the US labor force, but in keeping with the global trend we hold fewer positions of responsibility and work part-time more frequently. And of course we're paid less than male peers: 17.2% less in the U.S., 18% less in the EU. According to Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) President, the guy who sat next to me at Oxford is statistically likely to make $2M more than me over our lifetimes.
Valerie Keller, the Founder and CEO of Veritas, on being a female CEO:
Perhaps because I was a young CEO, I never paid much attention before to the 'glass ceiling' or other woes of women in the workplace... until a mid-career MBA at Oxford recently woke me up. A meager 10% of my classmates were women. As it turns out, that is pretty high. In 2011, women held 7.5% of executive officer top earner positions at Fortune 500 companies and a miniscule 3.6% of those firms have women as CEOs. According to a study by Pax World, Calvert and Walden Asset Management, a paltry 9.4% of directors on global corporate boards are women. We make up 46.7% of the US labor force, but in keeping with the global trend we hold fewer positions of responsibility and work part-time more frequently. And of course we're paid less than male peers: 17.2% less in the U.S., 18% less in the EU. According to Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) President, the guy who sat next to me at Oxford is statistically likely to make $2M more than me over our lifetimes.
What is the problem? Nature or nurture? Are most of our sisters genetically hardwired to not seek out positions of power and influence -- and/or are there cultural and systemic blockages? What solutions are working to increase numbers of women leading in corporations and how can those be amplified and accelerated?
At an NCRW expert panel on September 29, 2010 at American Express, authors Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson provided compelling evidence for the view that companies with both women and men in strategic leadership positions have a competitive advantage over companies that do not. The particular strengths of women - their broad-spectrum vision, empathy and interpersonal skills, and their value-based, collaborative style - are increasingly recognized, but still under-valued in assessing leadership potential.
NCRW held an expert panel on February 28, 2011 at American Express with senior leaders from business, government, and academia to explore the case for, barriers to, and action steps needed to expand the number of women in leadership positions. While many overt barriers to women’s advancement have been largely dismantled, and the pipeline to leadership is filled with highly qualified women, the embedded prejudices in our institutions and culture as well as the expectations women have for their professional and personal lives, especially younger women, still pose challenges.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Talent Innovation argues that, with the imminent retirement of the over 1,1000 F1000 directors over 70, demand is surging for a new generation of directors, one which better reflects the 21st-century marketplace.
Now nearly 100 years later, the dearth of women on America’s corporate boards is as striking as is the need for them. Women control nearly 75 percent of consumer purchasing decisions, yet there are still 29 Fortune 1000 consumer companies with no women on their boards, according to research by CTPartners, a global executive search firm. In a time of economic turmoil and political instability, male CEOs and directors repeatedly told CTPartners that having women in the boardroom leads to better-informed discussions and more thoughtful decision-making, sentiments backed up by a 2011 Catalyst studyshowing that major companies with three or more female directors outperformed companies with zero women on boards by 46 percent of return on equity – yet among the Fortune 1000, there are 144 boards that have no women directors, and women comprise fewer than 15 percent of all directors.
But there’s good news: More than 1,100 directors currently serving on F1000 boards are over 70 years old. With their retirement imminent, demand is surging for a new generation of directors, one which better reflects the 21st-century marketplace. How can qualified women ensure that they’re considered as candidates to fill those slots?
What is the status of women and girls worldwide in 2012? Join us as we explore the gains and gaps, and their implications for forward action, with national and international experts, including the authors of some of the most important recent reports -- from the World Bank, the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Project and the White House.
Welcome Christine Cumming, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Linda Basch, PhD, President, National Council for Research on Women