Leading by the Numbers: Vital Stats on Women in Leadership


The importance of diversity and inclusivity in social and economic dynamics cannot be overstated in this era. While strides have been made to increase female representation in leadership roles, there is still some gender disparity in the more senior roles. Dive into our comprehensive blog to uncover how critical statistics of women in leadership have shifted over time, portraying the current landscape of gender equality in the workplace. Together, we can celebrate the achievements of women and strive for a future where leadership knows no gender.

  • Key Statistics on Women’s Leadership
  • Aspiring Female Leaders
  • 5 Ways Women Can Become Successful Leaders
  • Women in Leadership FAQs

Key Statistics on Women’s Leadership

Let’s delve into vital stats showcasing how women in leadership roles have evolved:

  • As of 2023, women account for 41.9% of the workforce worldwide, while only 32.2% are in senior leadership positions
  • In 2015, 26% of leadership positions within the finance sector were given to women, increasing to 32% in 2021.
  • Across industries, in 2022, the number of women hired into director or higher roles reached 37%, an increase of 6% since 2015.
  • Women are significantly underrepresented in the STEM industry, with only 29.2% of the workforce being made up of women.
  • Female representation on boards within the FTSE 100 increased to 39% after a target was set to reach 33% by 2020. 
  • By the end of 2025, it was targeted that women on boards would reach 40% within the FTSE 350 companies. At the end of 2023, women held 40.2% of board positions, up from 9.5% in 2011.
  • In the UK energy sector, out of the top 80 companies, only 6 women are CEOs. This is up 1% since 2022.
  • On average, female CEOs are older than male CEOs, notably due to it taking longer for women to reach a higher position (Korn Ferry, 2021)
  • As of 2023, of all C-Suite leaders, 25% are white women, and only one in 20 are women of colour. In 2021, only 20% of C-Suite leaders were women.

Aspiring Female Leaders

Over time, the number of women in leadership roles has gradually increased. In the coming years, it is forecasted that women will take on more leadership roles as the benefits of a diverse workforce become exceedingly apparent. Research shows that companies with women in leadership perform 10 times better than those with fewer females at the organisation’s helm. So, the question that remains for aspiring female leaders is, “How do I land a leadership position?”.

5 Ways Women Can Become Successful Leaders

Open Communication

Maintaining honest and open communication with those around you will promote a trusting relationship between employees and leaders. As a female leader, opening up in the workplace can be challenging, especially as you climb the leadership ladder and are suddenly surrounded by fewer female peers. As an effective leader, you must be authentic and feel comfortable showing your vulnerability to your colleagues to connect with them on a deeper level, improving trust and productivity.

Take Risks

As a female leader, it can feel daunting to dare to be different or take risks. Historically, women have been advised against making significant changes or to look for others for advice before making any decisions. To pave the way for aspiring female leaders, women should remain undaunted and trust themselves to make crucial decisions. Playing it safe can seem easy, but taking necessary risks will get you noticed and help you climb the ladder of success.

Confidence is Key

To inspire confidence in your team, you must believe in yourself and stand up for changes you can make. If you do not show self-confidence, others will struggle to find confidence in you. Stand out from the crowd by igniting your confidence from within to proclaim your strengths and abilities. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and strive for positive change.

Offer Support

Research suggests that emotional intelligence (EQ) is equally as important as IQ to be a successful leader. Offering a compassionate and caring side of yourself to your team will show them that you respect and appreciate their contributions, maximising their potential with you as their leader. Volunteering your time and connecting with others are qualities of a great leader.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

The power of a positive attitude is unmatched in a leader. Comparison kills creativity; comparing yourself to others will only set you back in your leadership journey. Remind yourself how far you have come and how worthy you are of being a leader in your industry. Remain positive in yourself; you have the potential to be a successful and inspiring leader, so don’t allow comparison to ruin your momentum.


Women in Leadership FAQs

What are the barriers to women’s leadership?


In some work environments, women leaders are met with hostility due to traditional stereotypes of leaders being predominantly male. Men tend to have better connections, allowing them to discover mentors and peers that can boost their leadership journey compared to women. However, these biases have been reduced, and more women can be found in senior leadership roles.

What does female leadership look like?


In workplaces run by women, the environment tends to be more collaborative, fostering personal growth and inspiring others to be more creative. Female leaders have person-oriented traits, creating an inclusive and open environment.

How do I know if I am a good leader?


Passion and positivity are two significant signs of a successful leader. An effective leader will maintain an honest and open dialogue with colleagues while motivating them to perform their tasks to the best of their ability every day.


Become a Successful Female Leader with AWL

With AWL, you can unlock your leadership potential and progress towards your dream leadership role. Women face challenges in the workplace when trying to secure a role that their male counterparts are also pursuing. You can take ownership of your strengths and abilities and become the leader who will inspire other women to chase their dreams. At AWL, we offer training and development courses designed to empower women. Take a look at our packages offering masterclasses and personalised coaching. Sign up today to kickstart your potential.


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