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Abstract

US technology pioneer IBM had made a historic announcement in October 2011 that its 30-year veteran Virginia Rometty would become its new CEO. Rometty had broken the proverbial glass ceiling in the 100-year-old company as its first female leader. She had opened up opportunities for women in corporate boards. It was a radical change and would have far reaching implications in the empowerment of women. But in the corporate sector and in the other higher echelons of power, women's representation was far from rosy. It was found that only 15% of board positions in Fortune 500 companies were held by women. A positive note was made by McKinsey & Company in 2007 that the women’s presence in boards had improved the financial performance of the companies. Diversity in corporate boardroom would prove beneficial to the company as women managers would bring in differing perspectives to any issue. While more women had joined the workforce, the situation had not improved much in the top senior-level positions. Many issues were to be addressed including the ‘leaky pipe line’. Statistics had revealed that very little progress had been made to crack the glass ceiling and it was expected that appointments like that of Rometty would bring in more visibility and encourage the tech floodgates to open for women. The case study attempts to analyse the challenges ahead for Rometty and if she could really break the glass ceiling and set a trend for women in executive positions in future.
Location:
Industry:
Other setting(s):
2011

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Abstract

US technology pioneer IBM had made a historic announcement in October 2011 that its 30-year veteran Virginia Rometty would become its new CEO. Rometty had broken the proverbial glass ceiling in the 100-year-old company as its first female leader. She had opened up opportunities for women in corporate boards. It was a radical change and would have far reaching implications in the empowerment of women. But in the corporate sector and in the other higher echelons of power, women's representation was far from rosy. It was found that only 15% of board positions in Fortune 500 companies were held by women. A positive note was made by McKinsey & Company in 2007 that the women’s presence in boards had improved the financial performance of the companies. Diversity in corporate boardroom would prove beneficial to the company as women managers would bring in differing perspectives to any issue. While more women had joined the workforce, the situation had not improved much in the top senior-level positions. Many issues were to be addressed including the ‘leaky pipe line’. Statistics had revealed that very little progress had been made to crack the glass ceiling and it was expected that appointments like that of Rometty would bring in more visibility and encourage the tech floodgates to open for women. The case study attempts to analyse the challenges ahead for Rometty and if she could really break the glass ceiling and set a trend for women in executive positions in future.

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Location:
Industry:
Other setting(s):
2011

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