Intelligence and ability are not restricted to either gender of workers, but these facts have largely been ignored by many companies. They have often used women to train men for managerial positions without ever promoting the women. This type of action is now forbidden by law, and it has spawned a variety of discrimination lawsuits. Companies eventually began promoting women to managerial positions, but the very top jobs were still mainly held by men. This is known as the glass ceiling.
The management of companies is pyramidal, and there are fewer jobs as a person climbs the corporate ladder. This is one of the reasons many people never hope to attain work as a CEO or CFO. Corporate officers are restricted in number, but they have been positions traditionally reserved for men. This has begun to change as women have protested, but it is still very much a man's world at the top. The glass ceiling is difficult to break through because it is well hidden by those in power.
Women have often been frustrated in the workplace because of the glass ceiling. They might cheer and celebrate for the women who break through, but many do not have that much patience. They have found another solution to the glass ceiling, and it is hurting large corporations all over the world. Rather than break through the glass ceiling, many women have left companies to open their own businesses.
Starting a new business takes a lot of work, but the frustration level makes the hours acceptable for many women. They would rather spend the time running their own business, and their families are supportive. In the end, companies that ignore excellent executives because they are women often find competition hitting their markets where they least expect it.