Women taking key seats in the uppermost echelons of businesses has become commonplace. Now more than ever, ascensions of females in otherwise male-dominated industries are notable. Evidencing this trend, a growing number of female workers are now making it the corporate world. Women have been put in charge – as engineers, as consultants, and more commonly these days, as CEOs of technology-focused global companies.
The most recent appointment that had drawn quite an interest among the tech community was that of Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, the first-ever woman CEO of IBM, one of the world’s biggest tech companies to date. Prior to being CEO, 54-year-old Rometty was head honcho at IBM Sales and Marketing who is highly credited for her leadership in the company’s international business marketing and global strategy, as well as her contribution to IBM revenues in 2010, which exceeded $99 billion.
Just a few weeks back, Hewlett-Packard Co. picked Meg Whitman as CEO. In October, Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ selection of Heather Bresch as CEO has set the new record on the number of Fortune 500 women CEOs, with 18 females holding the topmost position in the companies.
In an interview with The Grindstone, an online publication aimed at and featuring women, Laura Yecies, CEO of online syncing, file sharing and backup service provider SugarSync, believes gender “is a neutral factor” to becoming a success in an otherwise male-dominated business landscape.
Much as implementation of business and software strategies opens great opportunities for her company, Yecies devised strategies for self-empowerment, consciously working her way up by getting advanced education degrees, grabbing leadership opportunities, and gaining as much experience in the field.
While so, “the gender diversity” between male and female employees in workplaces generally remains vast, with women still struggling for mentors and for equal pay. Watermarks CEO Marilyn Nagel had revealed that there are few female leaders in the tech industry mainly because tech businesses are not keen on structuring the leadership pipeline of women. As a result, not a lot of women are moving up the ladder as rapidly as men, evidencing the latter’s control of the corridors of business power.
Citing expert opinion, USA Today underscores that when it comes to corporate management, the trend is to get employees who follow certain “sanctioned behavior” – which often translates to “aggressive, unattached and direct behavior” that men usually exhibit, and therefore get a shot at going up the corporate ladder. Females, generally speaking, have also been found to be “risk-averse” than most men. This inherent female characteristic may prove to be beneficial in the decision making processes that involve cutting costs, reducing debts and conserving cash.
While decisions to have females lead giant tech firms are gaining attention, the women CEO sample size may be insufficient to draw conclusions, and attributing performance to gender may prove unfounded either. The Chicago Sun Times may have put it quite right: good corporate leadership may entirely be all about the person, and has little to do with gender, if any.