30th January 2016 | Journal Of Sales Transformation
Dr Beth Rogers PFHEA is a sales educationalist and researcher at the University of Portsmouth Business School. Her advice to employers is to improve their sales pitch when it comes to attracting female talent and focus on rewarding those who deliver results, not “face time” in the office.
The distribution of women in sales across various industries and different levels of seniority remains unbalanced. There are plenty of women out there selling, but they tend to be clustered in pockets: in retail and certain industry sectors or geographies. Data on UK sales employment confirm the sales gender divide: in 2011, 54% were salesmen and 46% were saleswomen.2 In B2B sales, the figures were more polarised: 70% male; 30% female. At the top level – sales and marketing directors – the disparity between the sexes widened: 78% were male and 22% female.
Why are organisations failing to recruit the best women into sales leadership roles?
There are lower numbers entering into the profession, so there is a restricted talent pool. Women are guided more towards marketing and there is a general lack of awareness of sales as a valid career choice. The lack of formal qualifications in sales management has hindered progress. This is changing, thankfully, and we’re seeing more young women taking up our undergraduate sales options.