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The Missing 33%: Why Women Struggle to Make It to the Top

The Missing 33%: Why Women Struggle to Make It to the Top

Have you ever wondered why senior executive positions or higher leadership roles are offered  more often to men versus women? Susan Colantuono has devoted years of her life to debunking  this theory in efforts to help women succeed in the corporate setting. The issue lies not within the  capabilities of women or their talents and training, but is merely a lack of advice they are given.  The leadership skills of business, strategic and financial acumen are usually the most heavily  looked at skills for their employees. These three things finish the success equation for women;  however, most women don’t even know there is a missing component. In her TED Talk,  Colantuono brings the importance of these topics into the story in order to help women of all  career paths create a fair playing field against their male counterparts.


So often, women go into the workforce thinking they are going to rise to the top. Yet, when there  is a clear disadvantage to the opposite gender for something that is “already known” or “a  given,” women are set up from failure before they even know it. Not only is this an important  narrative to bring up within the female corporate community, but also a topic that companies  should be researching to create an inclusive work environment. 


Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women, a management consulting firm that empowers  women. Her goal is to research gender bias in the corporate world and help redefine it. She gave  a TED talk on her discovery of this missing 33% and how it affected females in the workplace. 


When given advice about future career endeavors, many people go toward the personal actions  route. An example of some of these things is to be assertive in your ideas and words, create  confidence from within, and work well with people on your team. No one ever discusses the  importance that awareness in the business, strategic and financial fields hold. We are taught as  young professionals to be thankful for all advice, but when we may be cheated of one of the most  important aspects, it puts less emphasis on the personal actions. 


Colantuono states that women need to be developing the skills of understanding business and  where it is headed to make themselves a competitive applicant against their male counterpart for  higher positions. There is room for women at the top. Working harder for our spot is something  us, as women, are used to. Corporate workforces should not be able to take away a job that is  rightfully yours due to advice you were not given. Consider yourself more knowledgeable about  this, and start researching business, financial and strategic acumen. Check out the entire TED Talk here.