Research Shows The New Opportunity for More Women in Sales and Sales Leadership in B2B
There has never been a better time to be a smart, talented, ambitious woman in B2B sales - although new research from Gartner - State of Gender Diversity in Sales: 2020 Report shows hurdles - my continued repetitive sentence, now confirmed again - men still outnumber women at every level of the sales organization in most companies, according to Gartner, Inc.
This new finding really jarred me, however. Gartner's latest research shows that 84% of CSOs (Chief Sales Officers) report that they are satisfied with the gender diversity of their sales organizations.
Perhaps I'm in a bubble, surrounded by amazing men and women CEOs, COOs, CSOs, heads of HR, and heads of sales - because I get calls every week from leaders looking for more women in sales roles including sales leadership at EVERY level. [I work with SaaS, tech, manufacturing, distribution, telecom, building trades, financial services, Fintech, and other industries.]
Cristina Gomez, Gartner's Managing VP in Gartner's Sales Practice says:
"Gender diversity is NOT on the rise in sales organizations - and deep misalignments between men's and women's perceptions of gender diversity challenges remain. As long as these biases remain, it will be hard for senior leaders to identify how their organizations' norms and culture need to change to attract high-performing female candidates and retain female sales leaders."
Now is the time to look at your organization's recruiting process, hiring process, onboarding process, promotion process and retention strategies.
For those company leaders who know this is beyond a "feel good" exercise but an actual mandate, consider these three findings from Gartner's research as well:
- Women "individual contributors" fell from 25% (Gartner's 2017 research) to 23% in 2020.
- Only 63% of women agreed that women and men have equal access to resources on attaining or exceeding goals at their sales organization (was 68% in 2017)
- Only 61% of women believe they have the same opportunities for advancement as their male counterparts with the SAME skills and qualifications.
Women Sales Pros will be discussing and dissecting this research in the coming weeks. What are your thoughts?