If you’re a woman in business, sometimes it’s better to work at a company that is led by a female CEO, whether your direct boss is a woman or not.
While there still aren’t that many of those companies—only five percent of the leading US companies have women as CEO’s—the number will surely continue to grow.
Tales from the trenches relate success as well as horror stories from people who have worked for male or female bosses or both. Individual experience comes down to corporate culture and working relationships that fit your style. If you need to adjust your own style to get ahead within, so be it. But here are some reasons why working for a female-led company can be a wise choice for upwardly-mobile business women.
She Pays You More Money
While it’s old news that women earn less than men in general (on average, $11,000 less per year) a 2014 study found that corporate officers tend to make more money if their CEO is the same gender.
The researchers analyzed salary data from over 2,500 publicly traded US companies over 6 years and found that, overall, male CEO’s paid male executives over $85,000 more per year than females. Conversely, women who worked for female CEO’s earned more than the men. Women fared worst when working for older male CEO’s, and best when working for younger female CEO’s.
She Gives You a 50% More Relatable Role Model
You’re both women. The similarities may stop there, but that’s a big obvious one that you can’t deny. To get to the CEO level, that woman had to work hard and stay the course. Is that what you want? You don’t have to be the trailblazer -- you have someone who has gone before you to set a great example.
She’s More Likely to Mentor Other Women
A diversified workplace is a goal for many companies. Female leaders inspire more women to join business sectors where they are underrepresented just by being there. When they actively reach out to support women in business, the way Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization encourages people to do, companies get the benefit of their female workforce feeling supported and encouraged to innovate and succeed.
Related Article: How Can Reverse Mentoring Help Your Business?
You Are More at Ease Around Her
Young women entering male-dominated businesses often feel like they need to act less like a woman and more like a man. They read and hear advice like, "keep emotion out of the workplace. Be nice. Assert your ideas in the name of the greater good, or based on the data, not on your own professional opinion. Stand tall. Sacrifice your family life to be effective at the office."
But with a woman at the head of a company, work-life balance can be more attainable. You can be comfortable being a woman.
She Has Great Advice
Your company’s female CEO has been there and done that, often without the advantages of having a woman as a role model herself. Listen to her. If she’s good at what she does, which she has to be to get where she is, she’ll have great stories from the trenches.
In this list of 10 Women on Their Female Bosses, lawyer Jennifer took the advice her senior manager gave: “Pinch your thigh. Tears are blood in the water…Leave the vicarious trauma in the driveway…Keep being nice. If someone steps on your toes, say something.”
She’s Just as Good as a Male CEO
Gone are the days when you don’t see women at the head of major companies. The numbers might be low now, but there are enough that it’s a thing. While only 5% of the S&P 500 have female CEO’s, the number is higher—14 percent—if you widen the scope to including other top executive positions. Working for a woman boss isn’t weird anymore. That’s what equality is all about.