Earlier this week, Weber Shandwick released The Female CEO Reputation Premium? Differences & Similarities, a supplementary report to The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era (March 2015). This survey of more than 1,700 senior executives worldwide found several illuminating insights:
Reputation is a Gender-Equalizer: Corporate and CEO reputations are largely gender-blind when it comes to contributing to overall company reputation and market value, and major differences between male and female CEOs leadership qualities are surprisingly few.
The Return from Female CEO Leadership: The analysis shows that the reputational “premium” for female CEOs is a heightened responsibility to inspire future generations to rise to the highest corporate ranks. Female CEOs have a positive impact on breaking the glass ceiling and inspiring the next generation of women executives to do the same. When women have a highly-regarded female CEO as a role model, they are more likely to stay at their companies and more motivated to strive to rise to the top themselves. Female executives are significantly more likely than male executives to say that their CEOs’ reputations influence them to stay at their companies (64 percent vs. 54 percent).
The Gender Bender: The research also reveals that relatively few global senior executives — 29 percent — have the desire to lead large companies and women executives with an interest in the CEO position are especially in short supply, as they are significantly less likely than their male peers to want to be chief executive one day (23 percent vs. 32 percent, respectively). Yet when female executives work for a female CEO, women’s interest climbs to 29 percent. According to the research, women who do aspire to be CEOs are more likely than their male counterparts to be Millennials.
Knowing that being a CEO one day is not on the wish list for many women in business, companies need to take further steps to encourage and develop them if they want to fully benefit from their contributions and to ensure a talented pipeline of business leaders. Weber Shandwick’s Executive Equity and Engagement services help CEOs and aspiring executive women amplify their voices and raise their visibility at executive conferences and forums and across other multi-channels. We help them build the equity in their brands that might one day lead them into the corner office as well as inspire the next generation of women CEOs. If this is something you’re interested in we’d love to hear from you!