The ParityMODEL™ for Women in Leadership

Women are underrepresented at the top.

Although they comprise roughly 50% of the workforce, just one in five C-suite positions is occupied by a woman–and just one in 25 by a woman of color. And research indicates that the gap is due largely to bias as opposed to desire, talent, or expertise. 

  • A full 27% of white women and 41% of women of color say they aspire to be senior executives. Among those who have already begun climbing the ladder, 49% of white women and 59% of Black women want to become top⁠ executives.

  • Unfortunately, women are perceived as having less “leadership potential” than their male colleagues–even when they are outperforming those same men on evaluations of current performance.

  • They are more likely than (white) men to be assigned office “housework” tasks as opposed to higher-profile stretch assignments that are likely to fuel career advancement.

  • And they are hired and promoted at lower rates than men.

All of this translates to far fewer women than men making it into management and onto the path to more senior leadership roles.

McKinsey, Women in the Workplace, 2022; World Health Organization, Closing the leadership gap: gender equity and leadership in the global health and care workforce, June 2021; Yale Insights, Women Aren’t Promoted Because Managers Underestimate Their Potential, 2021; MSCI, Women on Boards Progress Report, 2017

The case for change is clear.

Having more women in organizational leadership (ideally 50%, at parity with the population) leads to better decision-making, innovation, and financial performance.

  • Businesses with at least 30% women in leadership are 15% more profitable than companies with no women in leadership.

  • Those with three or more women on their Boards enjoy a 10% increase in Return on Equity (ROE) while companies with no female directors experience a 1% decline in ROE.

  • Companies with diverse management teams generate 45% of total revenue from innovation compared to just 26% of revenue from those lacking diverse leadership.

Further, when women are in leadership roles, they are more likely to hire, mentor, sponsor, and promote women at all levels–diversifying the pipeline for future leadership opportunities.

Peterson Institute, Is Gender Diversity Profitable, 2016; MSCI, Women on Boards Progress Report, 2017; Boston Consulting Group, How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation, 2018; World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2020
Black woman giving a presentation
Asian woman giving a presentation

A practical, evidence-based roadmap for getting there.

The Parity.Org ParityMODEL for Women in Leadership is based on extensive research and in-depth conversations with organizations that have not only reached–but sustained–gender parity in leadership. Our proprietary framework, organized around three key pillars (Representation, Equality, and Inclusion), empowers you with insight into the specific policies, practices, and approaches that the most successful companies employ to ensure that women have equal opportunities to advance and succeed.

A framework built on three pillars.



Leadership Representation

Horizontal Representation

Vertical Representation



Equality in Hiring

Equality in Compensation & Benefits

Equality in Advancement Opportunities



Inclusion through Action

Inclusion through Benefits

Inclusion through Policies

“At the current rates, it will take 151 years to close the Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap."

The World Economic Forum, 2022

Here are the stats

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Only 1 out of 5 senior leaders is a woman, and only 1 out of 25 is a woman of color.
55% of CEOs and other C-suite execs believe women in their organization have been passed over for a promotion because of gender.
Women who do make it to the executive level are more likely to be in HR, legal, and marketing functions – and less likely to be in operations or technology.
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Since the beginning of the pandemic, women have lost 2.5 million jobsone million more jobs than men.

2/3 of women have experienced microaggressions in the workplace.
Even with equal levels of education and experience, women healthcare executives earn 20% less than men.