Utah women and leadership

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Jeanette Blain | Staff Writer | @JeanetteBlain

Utah is one of the worst states for women, or so claims The New York Post and prominent business and economy blog, 24/7 Wall St.

Jan. 21, 2015, The Utah Women and Leadership Project released a research and policy brief titled “Why Do We Need More Women Leaders in Utah?” addressing how Utah could improve its image and increase opportunities by promoting women in leadership roles.

Dr. Susan Madsen, project manager of UWLP and Professor of Leadership and Ethics at UVU, says women bring different management styles and perspectives to the table when making policy decisions. Recognizing the value in this diversity can lead to better outcomes for everyone.

The UWLP brief cites a study by Credit Suisse Research, which says, “Companies with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion and with women board members outperformed comparable businesses with all male boards by 26 percent worldwide.”

However, women continue to be undervalued or even absent in key decision-making roles.

Lecia Parks Langston, an economist writing for the Department of Workforce Services publication Trendlines, says 62 percent of Utah’s labor force in 2010 was female. That’s higher than the national average, however, the wage-gap between men and women with the same job was also larger than in other states. In addition, women are less likely to seek jobs that pay well.

Utah also has a big gap in education level.

“Utah men are significantly more likely to have a Bachelor’s degree than their national male counterparts. Utah women are not,” said Langston.         

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