Do men need to play a role in women getting to the top?

Kristen Blessman

Dear Members,

Kristen BlessmanAccording to Forbes, in 2017 men still account for 75% of all S&P 500 executive and senior-level officials. Men hold 80% of S&P 500 board seats, constitute 94% of CEOs, and hold just about 80% of the seats in Congress. The 2015 McKinsey and Company Women in the Workplace study stated that it’s going to take women 100 years to catch-up to where men are in the workplace. The 2018 study showed that it’s going to take 107 years. Yes, that’s right. It’s getting worse.

Despite these staggering statistics, the simple fact of the matter is this: I don’t really believe that men are sitting in an ivory tower saying they don’t want to see women at the top.

So, is there a role for men to play when thinking about the leadership path for women? I say a resounding yes. I have heard many of our members emphasize the role male colleagues have played in helping them get to where they are – I echo these sentiments. I know since joining the CWCC, I have witnessed such openness, generosity, and passion from so many male leaders in our community – men who whole-heartedly want to see the above statistics change. I know there are many men fighting to help us get there, including community leader and CEO of Davita, Kent Thiry, who will be speaking at our next Powerful Voices Conversation series luncheon on August 15th!

When thinking about how men can play a key role in helping to grow women, ask yourself: what continues to hold us back? What are the major hurdles preventing us from being as successful as men?

Our Corporate Women’s Group met in May to help define the issues that prevent women from getting to the top.

Top 3 Things that Prevent Women from Growing in the Workplace

  • Unconscious Bias & Corporate Culture
  • Lack of Mentorship & Sponsorship
  • Communication & Our Own Inner Voice

The CWCC feels passionately about engaging men in our quest for meaningful change in the workplace for women. We have a subgroup of male members gathering the morning of August 1st to talk about how our membership can rally men in support of women. For more information about this program, please reach out to Kerstin Sebring at

Together, we will change the landscape for women and ultimately begin to chip away at the statistics in today’s workforce.

Thanks for helping us get there!

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