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Lorange / IMD special mini-series

Gender equality

A pipeline of women leaders is needed across all career stages

26 April 2022 • by Heather Cairns-Lee in Lorange / IMD special mini-series

Society must take action to change gender norms and encourage more girls to study STEM subjects if we are to improve the pipeline of women tech talent and leaders said Heather Cairns-Lee,...

Society must take action to change gender norms and encourage more girls to study STEM subjects if we are to improve the pipeline of women tech talent and leaders said Heather Cairns-Lee, Adjunct Professor of Leadership at IMD and Dr Monica Dell’Anna, Chairman of the Board of B Capital in a webinar hosted by Dr Peter Lorange, Honorary President of IMD.

 

Technology is upending the world of business, creating strong demand for employees and leaders with technical backgrounds. Yet currently only around a quarter of roles in computing, engineering and manufacturing, and finance are filled by women, said Cairns-Lee.

The picture is similar at some of the world’s biggest technology companies. Women hold just 23% of technical positions and 33% of leadership roles at Facebook, and just 17% and 6% respectively at Samsung.

The increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous nature of the world will require a diverse set of future leaders who can adapt to the rapid pace of change. Excluding 50% of the talent pool will only be to the detriment of business and society. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemics showed that countries with women leaders at the helm tended to handle the crisis better than those ran by men.

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