The Wall Street Journal reported Monday on a recent gathering of business leaders who comprised the Women in the Economy Executive Task Force. The group produced some excellent directives for C-suite executives on increasing the numbers of women in companies’ senior ranks. Female and male business leaders delivered guidelines for companies on increasing profitability, developing professional potential, facilitating work-life balance and enhancing Board governorship, all by creating a conducive environment for advancing women.
Will this task force and the rich thinking that emanated from it make an impact in today’s business world? Past initiatives along the same lines have seemed to inspire business leaders yet women continue to be significantly underrepresented at the executive level. The article points out that even though gender diversity may be a commitment of the CEO, corporate programs often appear to focus on the issue without having specific goals connected to them. Without metrics and accountability for advancing gender discrepancies, progress just won’t be made.
I do hope that corporate America responds to suggestions from the Executive Task Force. I wonder, though, why editors of the Wall Street Journal decided to bury this seminal report on pages B-7 to B-12 of their newspaper, with a reference in the front section only to an article on “What Holds Women Back”. There was no mention of the Task Force on the header of the B Section; in that header, however, there was a catchy reference to a sports article titled “Teenagers Playing in the Big Leagues”. I guess gender equality in business is just not that important yet.