State organizations release results of ‘Iowa Women in Leadership’ research study

Oct 22, 2014

Please add your bio info through your member profile page, or through your dashboard.

Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC), the Nexus Executive Women’s Alliance, Iowa State University’s Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, and the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business today announced the public release of a second women’s leadership research study, “Iowa Women in Leadership: Policies, Practices and Statistics.”

The first research study, “Pathways to Leadership,” was released in 2013, and told the stories of 725 women and their personal leadership journeys. This year, through IWLC’s partnership with Nexus, the Catt Center, and the Tippie College of Business, “Iowa Women in Leadership” was completed.

Phase One of “Iowa Women in Leadership” includes statistics on women in leadership in all sectors of business across Iowa – non-profit, for-profit, public, privately held. The statistics are broken down by business sector, allowing the data to be viewed through the all-important lens of where women are working.
Phase Two of the study will be rolled out at IWLC’s Eastern Iowa Conference on April 22 in Cedar Rapids. This segment of the study examines the policies and practices of organizations across the state.

Some highlights from Phase One of the study include:

· The percentage of women in leadership roles varies significantly across contexts. While over 50% of the 2,512 executives in non-profit organizations are women, this number drops to 25% for private for-profit companies and 22% for publicly traded companies.

· Only 16% of board members listed by public companies are women.

· In government, women comprise an average of 28% of local, county, state, and federal elected officials; 49% of state board members; 29% of county board members; and 37% of municipal board members.

“Phase One of the study does not have a lot of surprises,” says IWLC CEO Diane Ramsey. “In many ways, Iowa is similar to other states across the nation with regard to the number of women in professional leadership positions. But one thing is crystal clear: we can do better! This is our clarion call. It is why IWLC is here and it is why women and men across Iowa have answered IWLC’s call to support women’s leadership with the goal of elevating women leaders in professional environments.”

“As conversations about increasing the number of women in leadership roles become more prevalent, I think that it is important to have detailed data about the degree to which women are currently leading in a variety of organizations,” says Dr. Amy Colbert, Associate Professor of Management in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. “This helps us to identify areas in which women are taking on executive roles so that we can learn more about the policies and practices that have helped them achieve these roles.” 

“The Catt Center has been collecting data on Iowa women’s representation in elected and appointed political office for several years,” says Dr. Dianne Bystrom, director. “It is interesting to note that women’s executive leadership in Iowa for-profit private businesses is similar to their representation in state political office. As business leadership often serves as an avenue for participation in political office and public service, such reports underscore the need to increase women’s representation in both the private and public sectors.”

“We understand that Iowa businesses benefit from increasing the number of women in leadership roles,” says Leisha Barcus, a member of the Nexus Executive Women’s Alliance. “This study provides us an opportunity to help organizations identify the policies and practices that will lead them to these better business outcomes. Completing Phase One of the research gives us the baseline data necessary to ensure that our efforts keep Iowa moving in the right direction.” 

To access the executive summary of “Iowa Women in Leadership: Policies, Practices and Statistics,” visit:http://www.iwlcleads.org/Content/Resources-Partners/Iowa-Women-in-Leadership-study.aspx 

Category: News