Sales leaders across the globe report sourcing quality sales professionals as a top challenge and priority for 2018 – but research shows that women hold just one in five sales leadership roles.
And, according to CEB, now Gartner, they account for just one in four of midlevel sales manager roles.
The percentage of women in frontline sales management has remained flat for more than 10 years.
“Women are underrepresented in all levels of sales, despite the urgency to find strong talent,” said Cristina Gomez, sales practice leader at CEB, now Gartner. “In addition, we’ve found that women also report not having the same opportunities as men in sales.
CEB, now Gartner, found that only 50% of female sales professionals feel they have the same opportunities for advancement as their male counterparts, despite having the same skills, experience and qualifications. However, when asked the same question, 91% of men believe women are given access to the same opportunities.
“This is not only a fairness issue, this is also a business issue,” says Gomez. “The success of every sales organization depends on its ability to attract, develop, and retain high-performing sales professionals and effective sales leaders.”
Advancing gender diversity in the sales organization not only expands the potential talent pool, but also brings other business benefits to the sales organization. CEB, now Gartner, analysis shows investing in women leaders can help to stabilise the workforce and promote further diversity. In fact, companies with a high level of gender diversity more than doubled their annual revenue compared with competitors with an average or low level of gender diversity.
To combat this challenge, forward-thinking sales organizations are making, attracting and retaining high-performing female talent a priority.