It takes a great
team to create a professional sounding radio station, especially
those who occupy the upper management ranks. Unfortunately, many of
us have overlooked a great resource for leadership talent - women.
Whether we (as
men) want to admit it, a gender gap still exists. Although equal pay
for equal work has been the law since 1963, AFL/CIO statistics
report that in 2007, women in the United States were paid 77 cents
for every dollar men received for comparable work.
Even a casual
observer must admit that women with experience and skills are often
overlooked for promotions - just look around your office. How many
women managers are in the highest positions of influence at your
radio station? How many women board members has your organization
Some of the
shortage of women in upper management can be traced back to
personality differences between women and men. Men, more than
women, are more likely to ask for promotions and negotiate salaries.
Yet assertive men in business are labeled “go getters” and women who
behave in similar ways are called “pushy.”
If you think the
gender gap is caused by an education gap, you’re wrong. Advances,
particularly among the college educated, have placed more women on a
par with men. Whereas in 1960 male college graduates outnumbered
females by five to three, by 1980 the numbers of female and male
college graduates were equal. Today, women earn 57 percent of all
bachelor’s degrees (library of Economics statistics).
I do not claim
to be this last decades “poster child” for promoting women into
radio management. Unfortunately, I have come to this revelation late
in life through a dialogue with a mentor-friend. While I have
always tried to explain away the gender gap in upper management,
U.S. statistics tell a different story. Women comprise 45% of the
U.S. work force, but their overall share of upper level management
jobs rarely exceeds 20 per cent.
The next time
you have a management opening, perhaps broadening your horizon to
consider qualified women candidates will enrich your organization.
After all, the statistics are in your favor.
Dick Jenkins can be reached at