Today’s guest blogger is Brian Wallace. 

In a recent USA Today interview, Sheryl Sandberg noted, “I gave a TED talk and said: 'It turns out men still run the world.'"

"And the audience gasped as if that was news. I think we made so much progress for decades, starting in the 1960s and the 1970s on, that when really the progress stopped, it ground to a halt on leadership roles, on the pay gap, on the percentage of women who are running for office, we didn't exactly notice.”

Despite the fact that women-owned businesses have grown at twice the rate of businesses in general over the last decade, today there are only 17% of startups with a female founder. What is holding women back from achieving success in the business world?

Sandberg’s Lean In organization has been studying just this, and their 2016 Women in the Workplace Study has found some interesting data:

1. “For every 100 women promoted to manager, 130 men are promoted”

2. “By the time women reach the SVP level, they hold just 20% of line roles, and line roles lead more directly to the C-suite: In 2015, 90% of new CEOs in the S&P 500 were promoted or hired from line roles.”

3. “Women who negotiate for a promotion or compensation increase are 30% more likely than men who negotiate to receive feedback that they are “bossy,” “too aggressive,” or “intimidating.”

4. “Only 40% of women are interested in becoming top executives, compared to 56% of men. Women and men worry equally about work-life balance and company politics. However, women with and without children are more likely to say they don’t want the pressure, and women who want a top job anticipate a steeper path than men who do.”

There have been many women who have blazed the trail in the workforce, leaving a path for other women to follow. But still women are falling behind thanks to antiquated workplace policies and environments. While there is no magic piece of legislation or workplace policy that can be adopted to level the playing field overnight, there are small steps that can and do have a big impact. Paid parental leave can make the transition to parenthood easier on employees without threatening their career identities and livelihoods. Work-life balance is important to all employees, so making progress toward that end can benefit everyone in the workplace.

Learn more about the habits of highly successful women from this infographic. Though they have pushed through the initial barriers, there are still many barriers left to push through.

Follow me on Twitter:!/ronriggio

Brian Wallace founded NowSourcing in 2005, and holds an MBA and MS in Information Systems. He appears as a guest author on CMSWire and and was been named a 2017 Google Small Business Advisor. 

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