This week\u2019s Economist has a special report\n\non the status of women in management. The statistics are not admirable.\n\nWhile making up 45.6 percent of the workforce, women account for less\n\nthan 8 percent of top management, and female managers make an average\n\nof 72 percent what their male counterparts make.\n\n\n\nGiven\n\nthose figures, the majority of people likely to read this post are\n\nmale, so. . . should you care about that inequity on any level but\n\nhigh-minded principle? The Economist suggests yes. To wit:\n\n\n\nCompanies\n\nno longer see the promotion of women solely as a moral issue of equal\n\nopportunity and equal pay. They have been persuaded of the business\n\ncase for diversity. It has long been known that mixed groups are better\n\nat problem solving than like-minded ones. But the benefits of diversity\n\nare greater than this. Research by Catalyst, an American organization\n\nthat aims to expand \u201copportunities for women and business\u201d, found a\n\nstrong correlation between the number of women in top executive\n\npositions and financial performance among Fortune 500 companies between 1996 and 2000.\n\n\n\nThe problem seems cyclical, without a good entry point for solution.\n\nThe article cites three main explanations for why so few women reach\n\n\u201cC-level\u201d:\n\n\n\nExclusion from informal networks. \n\nStereotyping of women\u2019s capacity for leadership\n\nLack of role models\n\n\n\nAnd\n\nthere are other factors, such as \u201cthe flattening of organizations \u2026 as\n\nlayers of management have been stripped out,\u201d making for fewer\n\nopportunities for people to re-enter the workforce at higher levels, in\n\ncombination with women being more likely than men to take family leave\n\nto care for young children or aging parents.\n\n\n\nThe Economist\n\nsummarizes: Change \u201cwon\u2019t just happen.\u201d It needs specific intervention\n\nwithin companies\u2014intervention that is led from the top and includes:\n\n\n\nOpportunities for flexible working.\n\nMentoring.\n\nGetting more women on the subcommittees of boards (which do the hiring of execs).\n\n\n\n\n\nGood luck.