EY partner Susan Doughty says although the importance of diverse leadership is being embraced, we are yet to see concrete change at the top of our leading organisations
It's 2015, and again no women have made it to the top-earning CEO list.
Though the importance of growing diverse leadership pipelines is embraced by many of our leading companies, we are yet to see concrete change at the top of organisations.
Some clues as to why this happens lie with the way women choose to prioritise work and family commitments. This results in career breaks and, consequently, fewer opportunities for development and slower career progression overall.
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However this is not the case for all women on the leadership track, so there are influences at work here that are less obvious and recognisable.
Research supports the theory that male CEOs operate within different and broader, generally male, networks than their female counterparts.
The old boys' network is well known and, if you look around any boardroom or executive team, you can see it at play.
We also know female CEOs on average are younger, less tenured and less connected than their male counterparts, resulting in weaker networks. This limits their ability to influence and achieve the top jobs and, consequently, top pay.
The networks developed by male senior executives mean they often have close relationships with boards making hiring decisions, which can be leveraged when seeking top positions.
This conscious and unconscious bias means we have a long way to go before we see a stronger representation of women at the top table.
Susan Doughty is a partner at EY, specialising in talent and remuneration.