As an expert recruiter and expert professional coach, I have interviewed and coached thousands of women over 39 years.  Several of my clients have women in executive roles where they are very successful.  Does your organization have women in executive operations positions where they are making impacts in daily operations?

What Three Attitudes Discourage Women from Entering the C-Suite?

In my experience, three groups discourage women from entering the C-Suite in the same numbers as men – and talent is not one of the reasons.

Among the males, I feel there are two groups of men.  The first are men who are confident in their skills and experience, and comfortable working with women.

My best client is one of those men.  Joe hired a smart and talented woman to be his CFO at a company he turned around.  Jackie was smarter and tougher than the guys in the electric utility where she grew to the CFO level with merger & acquisition responsibility in the 1980s ( a male dominated role at that time in that industry).  After she and Joe worked at the company they successfully turned around, and they eventually sold for the multinational company owner, they formed a successful partnership in a management consulting firm. 

I call the second group of males “the boys.”  The boys are insecure in their positions – you may have heard them described as the “old boys network…”.  When they “accidentally” hire a smart, experienced woman, their insecurity leads them to torpedo the woman’s initiatives and undermines them in meetings.

The next group of people who may undermine a sharp woman from rising to the C-Suite is, sadly, other women.  When on recruiting contracts, I have witnessed insecure women undermine the efforts of a promising, talented woman.  They will display passive-aggressive behavior to act like a friend…And then stab them in the back at the first opportunity.

On one of my contracts, a smart and tough woman was the Treasurer of a large company.  When asked if she would mentor smart, younger women, her response was “I had to find my way to the top the hard way.  They can find their own way.” Wow! Successful men mentor younger, talented men all the time.  This is part of the reason all men’s social clubs are not allowed.

The third group that discourages women from going to the top are the women themselves.  Over their years of experience, they are told they “don’t have what it takes” by people in the aforementioned groups.  Instead of borrowing the bravado that many males utilize to move to the C-Suite, they are afraid they do not have the skills and experience to succeed at that level.  They play it safe.

What Action Benefits Women Targeting The C-Suite?

The Marines take boys and girls and train them to be men and women by coaching them to “Act Proud”.  An eighteen-year-old does not know how to be proud. They do know how to ACT Proud when given an example.

Women need to ACT Confident in their abilities, skills, and experience to succeed in the C-Suite.  Many women I coached to the executive role, questioned their abilities. They simply need to act confident until they Are Confident.  This confidence benefits them and their employer.

As women acquire the confidence and experience to succeed in the C-Suite, more will succeed.

What Action Benefits Companies In The Quest To Identify Best Women for their C-Suite?

Create or improve a mentoring program to help these strong women grow to the C-Suite.  In many companies, there are women ready to contribute at a higher level, but they have not been encouraged to do so. There is also the unsaid barrier created by the boys who are threatened by intelligent, high-performing women. 

The benefit to your company of encouraging more sharp women to join the C-Suite is a more productive, profitable company fueled by new ideas and perspectives – the benefits of the diversity of thought.

This practice enables your organization to win the Talent War.

If you have any questions, please call me at 435-714-4425 (Mountain).

The Top Talent Attraction business model is my differentiator.  I focus on one client at a time and charge a flat monthly fee.  This model enables me to attract new talent to your organization while identifying and suggesting improvements to your company’s Talent Attraction process, including Manager Interview Training.

Learn how I coach my Career Transition Clients in my most recent book – Employee 5.0: Secrets Of A Successful Job Search In The New World Order  My book includes an appendix with sample interview questions.

I help organizations Recruit, Onboard, Actuate, and Retain Top Talent.

See you on Tuesdays! Feel free to click on Follow Us to receive my #TalentAttraction blog every week or to Share my Just Saying Thought Leadership with your Network.

Bill Humbert is available for Speaking, Talent Attraction Consulting, and Training contracts.  435-714-4425

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