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The Gender Gap

  • In major U.S. corporations, women make up 53% of new hires, 37% of managers, 26% of VPs and senior executives, and 14% of executive committees
  • Six of the top 150 banks have female CEOs
  • Women in the U.S. earn 41% of STEM PhDs, but make up only 28% of tenure-track faculty
“Money, power and influence are the major obstacles that prevent women from attaining key decision-making posts.”
Christiane Bergevin, Executive V.P. at Desjardins Group

Mentoring makes companies stronger, more competitive & more profitable

“Women throughout the world still lack opportunities to succeed. This is especially so for women in less developed countries who suffer daily injustices. But even in places where women fare relatively well, subtle – but inhibitive – forces hold us back: “traditional” gender roles; the specter of discrimination and an ever-present glass ceiling.”
from Breaking Through, by Martine Liautaud.

The fact that many women are unable to advance in their careers, to obtain good salaries or top management positions hurts more than the women and their families. It deprives the economy of the talent and energy of women at a time when it desperately needs both.

The Good News

Enlightened companies and institutions throughout the world are aggressively working to narrow the gender gap through their hiring, training and leadership practices. Mentoring and networking are proving to be among the most successful strategies for changing the status quo. Sponsoring is a step beyond mentoring; it’s mentoring taken to the next level. In sponsoring, sponsors effectively put their own necks on the line.

In her book, Breaking Through, author Martine Liautaud interviewed dozens of business leaders about how mentoring not only helps women succeed; it makes companies stronger, more competitive and more profitable. In this section of the WIF website, we offer highlights from some of those interviews.

To read the full interviews, plus interviews with mentors and mentees, we encourage you to read Breaking Through, by Martine Liautaud. To see how WIF’s innovative mentoring program, WBMI, helps women entrepreneurs break through to the next level, we invite you to visit the WBMI website.