Prioritizing diverse perspectives

17th May 2018 |   Allen Mueller

Here’s how both women and men can help sales organizations achieve gender equality to build success.

Most industry outsiders I encounter view our industry as a corporate boys’ club. It’s a common misperception that sales has a shortage of women. In fact, the sales industry as a whole is almost evenly split on gender lines, with women making up 49 percent of the sales workforce.1

Unfortunately, gender parity still doesn’t exist in leadership positions. Research shows that as salespeople ascend in seniority, the number of women in leadership positions decreases. LinkedIn found only 21 percent of female sales professionals hold a title of vice president.2 That’s even lower than the 26 percent of female vice presidents across all professional functions.

As a female C-suite executive who built her career in sales, I’ve seen a variety of cultures. I’ve worked in male-dominated, stereotypically macho sales cultures, where women worked primarily in account management and men sold. But I’ve also worked for companies like Miller Heiman Group (my current employer) where hard work and honest communication create safe spaces for women to succeed as leaders.

Chief revenue officer, Miller Heiman Group

Allen Mueller is chief revenue officer, Miller Heiman Group, where she leads the team of sales professionals globally and is responsible for the management of Strategy Ready and Talent Ready. Previously, she served as the managing director of sales and account management for The Corporate Executive Board (CEB). Mueller was the head of vertical markets for Blackboard from 1999-2001.