BUSINESS ACUMEN: Your key to achieving your professional goals, and moving your leadership bar ever higher.
Although women hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions. It's been estimated that at the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in key leadership roles in the United States.
The 21st century demands that companies look for leaders who can accurately assess the competitive landscape, utilize metrics to understand business performance, and define and execute strategic goals in order to drive overall business success. This is business acumen.
Male leaders know the strategic importance of having business acumen skills; therefore they will help men develop them. When it comes to women, male leaders will coach them on general business, just not business acumen.
Why, because women are generally seen as having little financial and strategic knowledge to begin with, so they don’t coach them on these skills as they do men. Therefore, there is no point in promoting women past middle management if they can’t understand the big picture, or how the company makes money, or be able to create a strategic plan that will allow the company to sustain growth in the present and into the future.
- 45 percent of the overall S&P 500 labor force;
- 37 percent of first or mid-level officials and managers in those companies;
- 25 percent of executive- and senior-level officials and managers;
- Hold only 19 percent of board seats;
- Are only 4.6 percent of CEOs.
As you can see, these statistics validate the stated problem above because of the 45 percent of women in the S&P labor force, 37% percent are in middle-management positions. Keep in mind that it is difficult to surmise how many women in middle management are satisfied there, or feel hesitant to aim higher due to not only the lack of women in senior-level positions, but the lack of mentorship as well.
Statistics taken from, “The Women’s Leadership Gap,” article by Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Judith Warner. 2015
The Solution-- Business Acumen Training for Women... This IS YOUR GOLDEN TICKET
Whether or not your professional goal is to move past middle management, wouldn't you want to be as successful as possible in any position (line or staff) that you are in? Acquiring strong, effective business acumen skills will help you be able to:
- Contribute to your organization's success because your decisions are aligned with your organization's key objectives and strategic goals;
- Completely understand how what you do affects the company;
- Build your credibility and advance your career by making educated decisions;
- Be noticed by those who can help your career, because you can discuss business metrics;
- Have the single most important managerial skill anyone can acquire.