As the composition of the workforce grows to at least fifty percent women, female executives remain the exception to the rule. Facing unique obstacles in advancement, women stagnate as they move up the corporate “ladder.” Companies that lack women in the highest levels lose competitive edge, and as research emerges as to the importance of women in the executive suite, companies explore strategies for retaining and advancing females. Using case study analysis and interviews with female employees to analyze specific organizational strategies at Deloitte and General Mills, this thesis explores best practices and corporate strategies for advancing executive women. Bridging cultural and structural strategies, Deloitte and General Mills are considered two of the top companies for promoting women. These companies build strong business cases, demonstrate a commitment through action over rhetoric, create strong accountability mechanisms, maintain CEO-level advocacy and support, and drive change through continual improvement. Using these companies as models, the thesis elucidates these five themes as well as ten best practices for developing a targeted program for advancing executive women.
Bachelor of Arts
Includes bibliographical references.