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Pick an industry and you’ll likely find women who are underrepresented in leadership and underpaid, regardless of their performance.

The Benchmarking Women’s Leadership in the United States, 2013 study is complete, marking the first time that women in leadership roles across 14 sectors were analyzed. These sectors included, among others, academia, entertainment, religion, sports and business.  Unfortunately, wherever reviewerslooked they came to the same conclusion. Click here to read the study.

As an educator and Dean of Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver, I want to use this data to inspire productive and meaningful conversations about creating change across all sectors. We can use it to teach leadership in the classroom. It can be shared with the public. It should be shouted from the rooftops.  It should be used as intelligence for helping change the landscape of positional leadership in this country.

Perhaps, in the not-too-distant future, we may use the data in this study as a historical lesson for future generations.

At Colorado Women’s College, women’s thought leadership is elevated in the classroom, through review, discussion and key partnerships and alliances with those who are committed to examining the complexity of leadership and areas of emerging influence for women. It’s within this innovative learning environment that we educate women in the classroom every day about leadership.  Yet, as nation, we still have not made as much progress in this area as we potentially could have.

When women lead, great things happen, and our data makes a strong case for that. When women leaders are present in the upper echelons of companies and organizations like those in our study,revenue is greater, sales are increased, impact and reach are more expansive and industry distinctions are more prolific. It is astounding in today’s world of global business and competition, greater focus on earnings growth and pressures on C-level executives to deliver results, that more women – often the higher performing leaders – are underrepresented in positions of power and influence.

The time has come for women and men to share leadership for the sake of our families, our organizations and the future success of our nation. I believe that this study will assist in prompting conversation, backed by significant data, to create greater capacity for women’s leadership across the sectors.

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