Engaging Women researchers blog on issues related to gender in local government.
Girls and Early Leadership Experiences: Combating the “Leaky Pipeline” of Leadership
There is a leaky pipeline of women up the leadership hierarchy. Take a look at the disturbing statistics: women in the United States make up 50% of the workforce, attain 57% of Bachelor’s degrees, and hold 60% of Master’s degrees. Yet, women make up only 3% of Chief Executive Officers and hold just 6% of other executive positions in all sectors. At the local government level, women make up between 13% and 20% of city and county management positions, depending on the state. That’s far less than 59%, the percentage of Master of Public Administration recipients who are women.
Hidden Figures in Local Government Leadership
The hit movie Hidden Figures tells the story of four brilliant people — Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden — who, in the 1950s, advanced the state of computing and space travel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The achievements of these experts were remarkable for many reasons, including that fact that they were women and African American.
How can local governments create gender-inclusive workplaces? This is an important question given substantial evidence that gender-balanced leadership makes for more effective organizations. Yet women are still woefully underrepresented in the senior ranks of America’s cities and counties. As a result, local government organizations need to be intentional in pursuing gender inclusivity.
Breaking the Gender Cycle in Local Government Leadership
If you are an ELGL website regular, you probably have #13percent seared onto your brain. ELGL has done a marvelous job creating awareness of the fact that there are still relatively few women working as local government managers, not much higher than in 1984, when – wait for it – only 13 percent of local government managers were women.