Why do I believe we are going to have to build new businesses to have the balance many of us are seeking? Because, I’m impatient. I believe the current business structures will be able to change only, at best, incrementally.
Let’s look at the numbers…in 1973 we had one woman CEO of the Fortune 500. It was Katherine Graham of the Washington Post. She essentially inherited the position (her family owned the business). But, she didn’t inherit it until her husband who was the CEO – the son-in-law – tragically died. She went on to be one of the powerhouses in the newspaper business over the next 30+ years. Today, we have 18 women of the Fortune 500, and 39 total for the Fortune 1000. That equals 3.9%. We have 232 CEO positions to go to reach parity in just the Fortune 500. At this pace, it will take 515 years to reach parity.
I would contend there isn’t a single one of the Fortune 1000 companies today that doesn’t already have a woman working for them, or available to them through the market, that would be capable of being CEO. So why so few? Many people ask why the numbers of women beyond the mid-level manager roles fall off a cliff given how many women are educated across all areas of science, engineering, business, law, etc. I believe there are two main reasons…
• There is an imbalance in our current business structures (but it is not the one you think).
• Women have been saying “No” for the past 20 years.
First, most working women today have been operating from a male vibration. We have been playing by the men’s rules. We have been trying to be empowered through a male vibration. It is a dual-edged sword – men can FEEL there is something “off”. There is inauthenticity in us operating from a male vibration. And, it inhibits us.
I came across the following quote and it provided me the clarity I needed to help me understand why I constantly felt I was struggling in my various roles in 20+ years in corporate America.
“You have nothing on which to pattern a positive image of the empowered feminine. So men are striving to be male and women are striving to be empowered through a male vibration because you do not have a clear vision of the empowered female. You must create it. (author’s italics) “Bringers of the Dawn: Teaching from the Pleiadians”, Barbara Marciniak,1992
Second, women in very large numbers have been saying “no” to the current view of “having it all”, and quietly building a new picture of living whole complete lives. Many men are also beginning to share that they don’t “have it all” either, even though they have achieved everything they “should” to make it appear that they do.
Let’s get busy creating a new vision through new businesses.