8 ways female executives can help others reach the C-suite

Although there have been gains in female representation in the C-suite, men still significantly outnumber women in that arena.

Specifically, recent research from McKinsey & Co. found female workers accounted for 47 percent of entry-level positions, 38 percent of management roles and 33 percent of senior management or director roles. Additionally, research from Morningstar found that at the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17-to-1.
Although there is no one playbook for helping women move up the corporate ladder, one key way is female executives supporting women in their advancement. 

Here are eight ways female executives can help their female colleagues break through the glass ceiling, according to female members of the Forbes Coaches Council:

1. Be willing to share tips and information, including highs and lows of your career journey, success secrets and regrets.

2. Be aware of internalized oppression, which can knowingly make women who made it into the C-suite less likely to support other women. 

3. Become a sponsor and advocate for women on your team by pushing them to take on challenging assignments, connecting them with other leaders and recommending them for new senior roles and projects.

4. Initiate changes, such as flexible working hours, to level the playing field between men and women. 

5. Advocate for gender equality by sponsoring women employee resource groups and educating organizations on what cultural shifts would help more women break the glass ceiling.

6. Try an amplification strategy to credit women for their work and ideas. For example, if a woman spoke up in the meeting, the leader would repeat her key point, crediting its author. 

7. Nurture relationships with other women that are built on honesty, meaningful connection and commitment to measurable success.

8. Ask women what they need to help them succeed. 

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