Satisfaction with Ability to Elevate Women into Leadership Roles Relatively Low Among Top HR Professionals

Yet, 82 percent of organizations believe advancing women is a critical business issue

November 30, 2017
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Only 28 percent of HR leaders are satisfied with their organization’s ability to elevate women into leadership roles, according to the HR People + Strategy (HRPS) and Lee Hecht Harrison Elevating Women in Leadership survey report released today.

However, 82 percent of those surveyed believe that advancing women in their respective organizations is a critical business issue.

The survey, which included more than 230 individuals in the United States, represents senior human resource executives and leaders who are responsible for helping their organizations build stronger leadership. 

The results identified key behaviors of leaders that advance women in business organizations and highlights what’s required to create the inclusive workplaces needed for women to advance. 

“Gender diversity at the top is an important issue to our executive HR members,” said Lisa Connell, executive director of HRPS, the executive network of the Society for Human Resource Management. “The research not only shows the challenges that organizations are facing with this issue, but gives companies the tools to audit themselves and provides realistic solutions to begin addressing it.”

The top five behaviors that champion female talent are: 

1. Create opportunities to network informally that are inclusive of interests and schedules. 
2. Give female exposure and profiles to senior leaders and decision makers.
3. Provide coaching and feedback that builds business acumen.
4. Have career and coaching conversations that challenge negative self-perceptions. 
5. Challenge self and others around unconscious biases. 

Media: To request an interview, contact Vanessa Hill of SHRM Media Relations at and 703-535-6072 or Kate Kennedy at and 703-535-6260. 

About HR People + Strategy 
HR People + Strategy (HRPS) is the executive network of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the largest professional society representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. HR People + Strategy provides members access to forward thinking exchanges, research and publications and executive level networking opportunities. Visit us at

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress. 

About Lee Hecht Harrison 
Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) helps companies transform their leaders and workforce so they can accelerate performance. In an era of continuous change, successfully transforming your workforce depends on how well companies and their people embrace, navigate and lead change. Change within the organization, and their career. At Lee Hecht Harrison we use our expertise in talent development and transition to deliver tailored solutions that help our clients transform their leaders and workforce so they have the people and culture they need to evolve and grow. We are passionate about making a difference in peoples’ careers and building better leaders so our clients can build a strong employer brand.


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