Companies often claim they can’t find enough women qualified to take on C-suite or director positions. But there are plenty of women filling lower- and middle-management roles. In the U.S., women make up 51.4 percent of management, professional and related occupations, but just 4.8 percent of CEOs, according to Catalyst data .
“We just see that in every industry, that women are tending to cluster more in the lower levels and lower-paid sectors of the industry,” said Heidi Hartmann, the president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington, D.C., think tank.
Many makeup purveyors, retailers and other firms that sell a lot of products to women tout their records on gender diversity in their lower ranks:
- At Nordstrom, about 68 percent of executives and senior managers are women.
- At Macy’s, more than 66 percent of management level executives are women.
- At Procter & Gamble, which makes Always and Tampax feminine care products, more than 40 percent of managers are women.
- At Kimberly-Clark, which makes the Kotex feminine care products, about 26 percent of those holding director-level roles globally as of the end of 2013 are women.
Though women tend to have an easier time making it to the top of female-focused industries, according to Hartmann, women still rarely make up majorities of boards or executive suites.