Few take for granted the goal of advancing more women into leadership positions. Helping women achieve their potential delivers benefits for all the people organisations employ, benefits that previous generations missed out on. And, judging by the hopes and aspirations of the next generation of leaders, there are gains to be reaped by all of society, not just by the women themselves or by the organizations on a woman’s CV.
We asked the Women’s Forum Rising Talents community to give us their thoughts on the state of women in leadership today. And while they confirmed much of what we know about the barriers women
face as only 20% of Rising Talents believe that women are encouraged to pursue leadership role at work, they also surprised us with their expectations about what leadership means to them and how they can achieve it, especially through women’s networks as 70% of them have mentioned.
Every year, high-potential young women are nominated to join the Women’s Forum’s Rising Talents. Each has shown remarkable skills, courage and leadership in her professional and personal life, and proven her ability to take risks and act as a catalyst in her organisation and community, earning trust and recognition from her peers. In all, the initiative has recognised 192 Rising Talents, coming from over 50 countries, for their potential to achieve great things in the future.
We had a 42% response rate to our survey. One-quarter of respondents work for multinationals, and about the same are in entrepreneurial ventures. The other half of respondents come from government, the arts, academia and other sectors of the economy. The opinions gathered from a diverse set of women who are both accomplished and young give us a unique barometer of women’s leadership in the future across all sectors of the economy.
About the survey:
In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the initiative, the Women’s Forum, in collaboration with Kite Global Advisors, conducted a survey to look back at the successes of the Rising Talents, their expectations and aspirations for the future. The survey was designed, administered and analysed by Kite Global Advisors. The survey was open between August 1st and September 2nd 2017 and received 80 complete responses (out of 192 - 42% of Rising Talents members). Permission was given by respondents to quote all open-text answers contained within this report.