This foundation is working to fight stereotypes and get more women into leadership roles.

If you had to guess, how many of the top 500 companies in the United States are run by women?

200? 100?

The answer: 25.


Women make up just shy of half the labor force in many countries, but they're rarely seen in positions of senior leadership.

Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, puts it this way: "When you see that of the 22,000 publicly listed companies, 60% of them still have no women on their boards, then it’s understandable why it’s harder and harder to have women who rise in the corporate ranks." She continues, "The more women in leadership, the more role models there are, the more women will be able to envision themselves in that position."

The Rockefeller Foundation is advocating for 100x25: 100 women leading Fortune 500 companies by the year 2025.

Check out this video to learn more about it:

Who's her role model? This foundation wants to see 100 women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies by 2025.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"When the women speak, there’s a very different attitude in terms of listening than when the men speak."

We’ve all heard the story about a woman in a conference room. She makes a point. She’s overlooked. A man repeats her point. He’s heard and praised. We've come up with a name for this behavior: manterrupting. It’s been endlessly parodied, and more and more women have shared their stories. But not much has changed. In fact, studies have shown that women who speak up are perceived as aggressive, not assertive.

​All images via The Rockefeller Foundation, used with permission.

Then there’s the matter of how women look. In the workplace, a woman’s appearance matters. A lot. And it shouldn’t.

The examples are almost too abundant to name. There's Nancy McKinstry, CEO of a Dutch publishing and information company. She held a strategy meeting to discuss the company’s direction. The press in attendance focused not on the ideas she presented, but on her outfit, commenting that the suit she wore was the same color as the outfit worn by KLM flight attendants. It didn’t matter that she was a woman leading a company. Her presentation was still reduced to the clothes she wore.

And there’s Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for president. Regardless of where your political allegiances lie, that’s a pretty impressive feat. But throughout the election, her femininity and even the pitch of her voice were frequently fodder for debate and uncomfortably detailed observation by folks who were far more accustomed to seeing and hearing from men.

So what happens when, in spite of these roadblocks, women are given the chance to lead? They kick ass.

But first, they have to prove themselves. When a female CEO is announced, people get a little bit scared — one study showed that stock in a company actually drops. That’s sad. What many people may not know is that when given the chance, women-run companies perform well. In fact, they perform three times better, on average, than S&P 500 companies primarily led by men.

Take HSN, which is led by Mindy Grossman. She increased the value of her company’s initial investment by over 500%. Debra Cafaro at Ventas did the same. You can bet the people who held onto those stocks thank them.

Additionally, a study by the National Center for Women & Information Technology found that increased gender diversity leads to increased profitability and productivity, with team members experimenting more and fulfilling tasks more efficiently than companies with less gender diversity.

Why do women-run companies perform so well?

The answer is up for debate, but the women who make it to the top in spite of the roadblocks in their way are the absolute best, which probably has something to do with it. The women who make it have a lot to prove, and they understand the implication of their success (or failure) on future generations of women.

"That challenge, that risk, is almost what drives, I think, many of us to take the next step and to prove everybody wrong."

There’s no reason women shouldn’t be running at least one-fifth of the top 500 companies.

Imagine the possibilities if young women got the chance to see other women in positions of power. They'd expect the same and more of themselves. They'd shoot for the stars and they wouldn't miss, because they'd feel confident that their goals could be achieved.

Together, we can make it happen.

More
True
RockefellerFoundation
terimakasih0/Pixabay

When Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School principal Janet Behrens observed her students in the cafeteria, she was dismayed to see that they spent more time looking down at their phones than they did looking at and interacting with each other. So last year, she implemented a new policy that's having a big impact.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular