Research in 2005 found that 30 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs were 6ft 2in tall, even though only 3.9 per cent of the US population was. Another study discovered that deep voices led to better pay.
‘Think leader, think male’ is a persistent mindset, which remains a key stumbling block for women looking to reach leadership or management positions, or progress substantively in their careers. And it continues to show, for instance, with only 14 female CEOs currently in the FTSE350.
Not only does it mean that women have to put in additional effort to overcome initial expectations regarding what competence looks like, they also have to do it while not breaching other gender expectations, most notably being seen as caring – and how many CEOs do you know whose primary celebrated characteristic is their caring nature?
As the historian Mary Beard points out in her book Women and Power, this is old news. She adds: “We have no template for what a powerful woman looks like, except that she looks rather like a man.”
The solution for women isn’t compliance though – it’s changing the template itself. Here are three strategies for women to work against the biases and barriers too often holding them back.
If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTheCity has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here.