Indianapolis-based The Finish Line Inc. (Nasdaq: FINL) Chief Operating Officer Melissa Greenwell says while some progress is being made in balancing the equation when it comes to women at the highest levels of companies, "there is still great opportunity." She says more than 80 percent of executive-level positions are filled by men, which largely leaves women out of key boardroom decisions and hurts companies’ bottom lines. Greenwell, the of "Money on the Table: How to Increase Profits through Gender-Balanced Leadership," led off a special edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick focusing on women in business. She said "to think that — most of the time — we’re missing one of the genders in the gender diversity scenario, then we’re absolutely not getting to the best solutions."
Greenwell suggests companies need to build a pipeline early for women to end up in board seats or positions in c-suites. She says companies with big gender imbalances are "not being thoughtful about how we achieve that. Not being deliberate enough. More now means more later." Greenwell adds "then we have to do the things that are necessary to keep female talent." Often, Greenwell says, women that do rise through the ranks end up leave when they reach manager or director level.
Greenwell also discussed how companies must build a brand and a culture that attracts and retains women in order to re-balance the gender makeup in leadership roles. You can connect to more about her book by clicking here.