Today marks the 100th year we're celebrating the International Women's Day, a holiday that celebrates the power of women all over the world. We've come a long way in gender equality, and yet there is still a steep corporate ladder for us to climb. Although there are strong women role models for us to look up to, there are still too few around — only 3 percent of the Forbes 500 companies in the US have female CEOs. It's time to push ahead and take our well-deserved place in boardroom seats, in C-level positions, the top echelons of the government, and more. Here's why women deserve the same opportunities as men.
We're the talent. Fact: women either outnumber or are quickly catching up to men in higher education institutions. The Labor Department said last month that one in four women go to college before they're 23, which compares to the one in seven men. Women will benefit companies with their unique skill sets which will have been honed and developed by higher education experiences.
We outperform. Because we have to jump through more hoops and put in more effort to see success in a male-dominated world, we tend to be better performers than our male counterparts. A Stanford and University of Chicago research collaboration recently found that the female congress representatives outperform their male peers because it's harder for them to get elected to the position. Our outperformance is probably what earns female CEOs a higher pay.
For more reasons on why women deserve the top positions, read on.
We offer new insight. Women provide different kind of insight than what men offer, which is more valuable because it is rare — there are fewer females in high-level management. To stay competitive, PepsiCo recently had major staffing changes when they found out that 90 percent of their customers are women. It's just an example of one company coming to a realization that in order to tap into their female audience, they need women leaders to provide their perspectives and guidance.
We encourage gender equality in the workforce. Women are the key to narrowing the gender gap in the workplace. A larger number of women in the boardroom leads to more women in higher-level positions in the firm, according to a study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Women are each other's best advocates, so by paving the way for more of us to fill in boardroom seats, you are effectively helping to provide equal working opportunities for women.