A Look at Successful Women Executives
Many executive women are leaving corporations to start their own businesses. This corporate exodus among women is happening at a rate double the national average. A survey of 800 female and male business owners looked to determine the reasons behind the trend. Among women, glass ceiling issues, feeling unchallenged, and the desire for more flexibility were the top reasons for leaving. In addition, the persistent wage gap, stereotypes about women being less committed to work because of family responsibilities, and the demand that employees spend significant time in the office, were key things that drove women away from corporations. Several companies have been concerned about this brain drain, which negatively affects the health of the organization. Women are seeking a chance and they are taking it. The number of qualified women for these management jobs has increased steadily as more women accumulate experience and education. A survey of 325 CEOs and 461 women at the levels of vice president and higher found that female executives identified three factors most critical to their advancement: consistently exceeding performance expectations, developing a style with which male managers are comfortable, and seeking out tough job assignments. Although high performance is expected from all corporate executives, many women managers believed this factor was particularly critical for women who may have to over perform to demonstrate their abilities in a male-dominated environment. But delivering superior business results by itself, was not sufficient; women had to help men feel comfortable working with them. The three successful women executives I will examine had dedication, support, and courage.
Janice Bryant Howroyd put a $1500 family loan into one of the most successful female-owned businesses in America. She is the owner and chief executive officer of ACT1, a personnel-servicing company based in