International Women’s Day 2021: Progress, but Pessimism

There are more women leaders than ever—so why are many experts worried that the gains won’t continue?

Since the first Women’s Day was observed in New York back in 1909, it has become a focal point in the movement for women to gain equality at home and at work.

Over the last year, there’s been some progress. More women are being appointed as board directors than ever before, and women’s organizations around the world are working on ensuring that men and women get paid equally if they have the same job. And just this month, women became the new chief executives at Citigroup and Walgreens Boots Alliance, two of the country’s most prominent corporations.

Still, there’s a ways to go. Women make up about half the population but lead only 6% of the biggest publicly traded firms in the United States; and some firms are struggling to find women to lead other management roles, too. Plus, experts worry that the COVID-19 pandemic is seriously denting the career prospects of tens of thousands of high-potential women, as four times as many women than men have left their jobs since COVID-19.  

For International Women’s Day 2021, Korn Ferry has new data about women’s leadership worldwide and insights on what firms can do to build (or rebuild) a pipeline of future female leaders. 

The Uneven Path for Women Executives

New Korn Ferry data shows the ranks of female executives grew in nearly every country over the last five years. But COVID could wipe out those gains.

Save the Pipeline

How can firms revise last year’s exodus of female professionals from the workforce during the pandemic.

5 Ways Women Can Get Back in the Game

Four times as many women than men have left the workplace since COVID. Here are steps they can take to return quickly.

Identifying ‘the Power of All’

In time for International Women’s Day, experts say companies should make these three crucial moves to increase the number of women in leadership.

Want Higher Profits? Hire a Female CEO, CFO

A new study shows top women execs produce superior returns in their first two years on the job. “The evidence is getting louder.”

The New Roadblock for Women: Performance Reviews

Nearly six in 10 women get vague performance reviews, stymieing their leadership growth.

Glass-Cliff Roles: Go for It

So-called “glass cliff” jobs carry big risks, but Korn Ferry’s Evelyn Orr sees important opportunities for the women and minorities who take them.