Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “To see more women leaders rising to the top jobs in our churches, research indicates we have to convince more of them that even when looking for their first job out of college, they should be aiming for the big jobs.”
Why The First Years After College Are Crucial For Women Aiming For The C-Suite | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
BY SALLY BLOUNT, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management
…Women now make up more than half of the incoming classes in the top U.S. universities, but still only a small fraction of CEOs, board directors, and government leaders. This data makes it clear that while we’re now getting women into the game in equal numbers, we are not yet getting them through to the top.
At Kellogg School of Management, we’ve identified three critical pivot points where we’re losing women on the way to the C-suite:
- The launch
- The child rearing years
- The transition to senior leadership.
Here, I focus on the launch–that critical first job after college, because the data suggests that many women may be opting out even before they start.
Recent stats from Northwestern and Harvard show that, in their first year out of college, women from these top schools are up to 50% less likely than their male peers to enter the most competitive business tracks, like investment banking and management consulting.
Yet when I look back at my own career, I realize just how important my first job at the Boston Consulting Group was for setting the trajectory that landed me as the first female dean of a top business school. At BCG, I got important imprinting in the ways of business and how markets work and began building my analytical and problem-solving skills.
If we want our best and brightest young women to become great leaders, we have to convince more of them that their first job out of college ought to be in business, and they should be going for the big jobs regardless of what career they want to pursue…