PAUSING AND THE LEADERSHIP GAP
In 1985, women started graduating from college at the same rate as men. In the decades that followed, men have fallen behind. By 2014, over 60 percent of college graduates were women77 and nearly 40 percent of women in the United States had earned a college degree, compared to only 32 percent of men. Looking ahead, the predictions are that the ratio will never go back to 50/50. We women are outpacing men, at least when it comes to education.
When it comes to running the show, men still rule the world.
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You’ve probably seen these statistics before, but here’s a refresher on a few traditionally male-dominated professions. In 2015, men made up the following:78
• 96 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs
• 94 percent of firefighters
• 87 percent of police officers
• 83 percent of corporate board seats
• 80 percent of law partners
• 81 percent of members of Congress
• 74 percent of presidents of colleges and universities
• 74 percent of scientists
• 72 percent of full professors
• 66 percent of doctors
Those professions are all highly paid and are highly regarded by society as a whole. What professions do women dominate? Low-paid ones such as kindergarten teachers (97 percent), dental assistants (96 percent), nurse practitioners (91 percent), and so on.79
Given women are the majority of college graduates and have been for decades, how could this be? One rationale has been that we don’t have enough women in the pipeline to the top of these male-dominated professions. But in most cases, that’s a myth.