Women in Corporate Sales Roles and Diversity in Leadership

There are certain challenges that women face in sales. There are many various concerns from women in sales all around the world.

The major problem seems to be the idea that men have a better opportunity to communicate with clients socially. The problem with this is work/life balance; Men can go to the bar after work with clients or for a game of golf, while most women have to go home to tend to their families. Women often feel like companies are “boys clubs” that make it quite difficult to advance to next level roles.

One of the most important ongoing challenge for most companies looking to diversify their leadership is getting past the “unconscious bias”. It’s quite common now that we see most high-performing companies moving beyond the times when discrimination was acceptable. We are seeing more and more that hiring and promotion is based on business performance. However, there is still the “invisible” challenge of male leaders who continue to hire in their own circles.

Successful companies are recently discovering that getting mreo women into sales leadership roles is very good for business and critical for creating a path for them to reach higher executive ranks. Although 62% of women in large corporations are in staff jobs, many of these women provide assistance services but are not directly involved in the generation of revenue, thus weakening their chances of landing top level jobs in senior management. Only 3% of CEO’s in Fortune 500 companies are led by women.

Lori Cornmesser, Corporate Sales

Strategies to support and grow that 3 percent include:

  • Eradicating unconscious bias.
  • Encouragement of external networks.
  • Client engagement is not just about golf.

Possibly, the core of this issue emanates from a place of insecurity. A common occurrence is the “imposter syndrome” which women feel that they are not as qualified as others (men) to be in higher positions. Truthfully, the imposter syndrome feeling is natural for everybody. It is a bump in the road that every one goes through and the key is to create positive results from this feeling of being “over your skis”. The real problem is a lack of confidence and working to improve personal confidence is the most important factor in sales.


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