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The Business Benefits of Women in Leadership Breaking Through the Granite Ceiling in Corporate New Hampshire January 29, 2008 by Katie Merrow, Executive Director Two Delta Drive, Concord, NH 03301, (603) 491-0959 Contact us at or Why consider gender?

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The Business Benefits of Women in LeadershipBreaking Through the Granite Ceiling in Corporate New HampshireJanuary 29, 2008by Katie Merrow, Executive DirectorTwo Delta Drive, Concord, NH 03301, (603) 491-0959Contact us at or

  • Why consider gender?

  • How many women are at the top?

  • Potential action steps—results of interviews with business leaders

Three reasons to consider gender…

  • Women are an increasingly important part of the workforce.

  • Companies with more women in leadership have performed better.

  • There are relatively fewer women at the top in NH than in other states.

As workforce ages, women are the majority of young, educated potential workers

Women are the majority in most consumer markets

Women are responsible for:

  • 83% of all consumer purchases

  • 89% of new bank accounts

  • 80% of healthcare decisions

  • 60% of car purchases

  • 47% of the U.S. investor market

  • 46% of home ownership

    Significant trends:

  • At least 55% of those online every day are women

  • Online spending is projected to increase 26% this year

  • By 2010 women are expected to control 60% of the wealth in the US

    Women’s buying behaviors are different from men’s.

    Source: Marketing to Women, Marty Barletta

Fortune 500 companies with more women at the top performed better

NH has more women at the bottom and fewer at the top than other New England states

The Numbers

  • Financial Institutions

  • Hospitals

  • Publicly Held Corporations

Women are concentrated at the staff level in each sector studied

Women comprise 80% of the workforce and 28% of senior executives in NH financial institutions

Women are concentrated at the staff level in healthcare

Representation is increasing —especially among CEOs

Conversations with business and banking leaders

Talked with 20 business leaders about:

  • Process for board selection,

  • Factors that affect advancement

  • Ways to improve opportunity

    Opinions on factors limiting advancement

  • Lack of visibility or connection to networks

  • Family and home responsibilities

  • Corporate culture that does not facilitate women’s advancement

Business leaders’ recommendations on ways to increase diversity at the top

Business Community

  • Create a talent bank/networking organization

  • Provide mentoring and training—for women

  • Provide education—for companies

    Individual Companies

  • Identify women leaders early in the pipeline

  • Require diversity in contractors’ staffing

  • Provide support for home responsibilities

  • Publicly declare commitment to diversity

  • Specifically request nominations of female candidates

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