“Is there something off-putting, if not downright sexist, about ranking women?” Adrianne Pasquarelli asks in her recent article where Crain’s ranked this year’s top 50 powerful women in New York. She acknowledges that Crain’s does not rank men, so why women? One explanation could be that there is still a disparity between the status of women and men, whether it is in the form of a wage gap or different expectations. “Women earned only 82.5% of men’s weekly salaries last year, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Embarrassingly few—4.6%—of the CEO positions at S&P 500 companies are held by women.”
Because of this troubled and ongoing truth, it is only appropriate to cater more attention to women and the power and influence they hold. By creating a rank, we don’t try to downgrade the accomplishments of men, but rather applaud the accomplishments of women while recognizing their harder and longer road given. Since 1998, the number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies has been steadily increasing. As of 2014, there were 24 women CEOs, a small fraction compared to the number of male CEOs. However, it is a large increase compared to 1998, when there were only two.
As a woman CEO who just celebrated her company’s 8th year anniversary on July 2, 2015, I agree that recognizing the accomplishments of women is crucial to a healthier future of equality. I look back on the past eight years and feel grateful for the moments I took a risk and disregarded my fear of failing. I vividly remember Tower’s first day and the question that went through my mind: would the phones ring? Would former clients take a chance on me? Would I succeed? Initially, I never felt challenged, fearful or treated differently because I am a woman. My success came from my skills, not my gender. Although in the early days, I remember hearing industry gossip from competitors who falsely stated that my success stemmed from the fact that Tower Legal is a woman-owned business. They thought that was the reason why we have the client following that we do. None of that was and is true. Based on my experience, diversity does not get you the business nor does it get you in the door. It may however, tip the scale if everything else is equalized. I was never given a contract because I am a woman. Instead, I was awarded business based upon my knowledge, transparency, skills, reputation and customer service.
Overall, it was a challenging road to get to where I am today, but I am still driven with the same confidence and independence I had when I started. I want to applaud these 50 women who were able to recognize their full capabilities and achieve a high standard, again. I hope to mimic their powerful qualities so that I can trickle these essentials down to the rest of the company and continue to keep my diverse team running strong.
By: LESLIE FIRTELL
TOWER LEGAL SOLUTIONS AND TOWER CONSULTING SERVICES HAVE SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE THAT HAS PROVE TO HELP LAW FIRMS AND CORPORATIONS IDENTIFY AND HIRE HIGHLY SKILLED CANDIDATES. TOWER HAS A NATIONAL PRESENCE WITH OFFICES IN NEW YORK, WASHINGTON, ATLANTA, D.C., CHARLOTTE, DALLAS, MINNEAPOLIS AND LOS ANGELES
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