Why Hire a Female Executive Coach?

From overcoming implicit biases, to battling more pervasive issues such as discrimination and gender inequality, there are many reasons to consider hiring accomplished female executive coaches.

With the fresh perspective, shared experience, and added diversity that they bring to the table, female executive coaches can be the key to Unlocking Bold Change™ on both an individual and organizational level.

Women in The Workforce

While women make up over half of the adult population in the US, they hold only 8% of leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

That number is even lower in male-dominated industries such as technology, finance, engineering, and manufacturing.

As a result, in seats of power where decisions are made, women are often at best mistaken for secretaries, and at worst, not even taken into consideration. Ask any woman working in mid-management all the way up to C-Suite and nearly all will be able to tell you a time when they were either mistaken for an assistant or secretary or just outright ignored.

Example of Inequality at C-Level

At the very top, these instances of bias and displays of inequality can cross over into the outrageous. Take for example Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, who recounted a time when she was presenting to a private equity firm in their executive suite conference room. During a break, she inquired as to the location of the ladies’ room, and the firm’s senior partner could not tell her where it was. Turns out, even though the firm had moved into that location over a year prior, Ms. Sandberg was the first woman to do business there.

What Sandberg’s story tells us is that, despite efforts to achieve gender parity in business leadership and the progress of recent years, we still have a long way to go before it becomes the norm.

Men Thrive, While Women Simply Survive

Ambitious women who are “climbing the ladder” are often greatly outnumbered by men—the gender gap in business looks more like a chasm the higher they go. When it comes to leadership, the numbers favor the men. That’s not just an opinion or speculation, it’s a statistically proven fact.

Even though men and women enter the workforce at the same time and pace, when you start to examine higher levels of management, it becomes clear that men are favored for promotions and more rapidly advance. If you need convincing, just take a look at this report from McKinsey, which revealed that “for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted.”

Men Providing Executive Coaching for Women

Therefore, it’s extremely likely that the women who hold leadership positions in business—especially in male-dominated industries—by default, have already been directly or indirectly coached, influenced, or mentored by men in their careers.

The best Executive Coaches know how to ask powerful questions, identify behavior patterns, and help their clients to get comfortable with discomfort. They also provide accountability and bring biases to the forefront. For those reasons, hiring female executive coaches is a natural choice.

Connecting to Another Female for your Executive Coaching

That’s not to say that working with male coaches is bad. There are plenty of terrific male executive coaches. But hiring a female for executive coaching provides a fresh perspective and increases diversity. Women, specifically, get the added benefit of working with someone who has shared life experiences. Men, on the other hand, can learn to be more emotionally intuitive, and disrupt harmful patterns of bias and discrimination. When men are coached by other men, it can often continue the perpetuation of blind spots and the status quo.

Businesswomen often face specific challenges and pressures that only other women can fully understand. Motherhood, for example, is extremely experiential. You can read about it, research it, and discuss it, but you have to experience it to know what it’s like and to comprehend the ways in which it changes your life. For ambitious career women, being coached by someone who can speak to the challenges of juggling work and family will be an invaluable experience.