Gender Disparity at C-Suite Level in SaaS Sales

14 July 2023

By Sarah Rhodes

Gender Disparity at C-Suite Level in SaaS Sales

Having worked in recruitment for over a decade, and within a range of sectors, one observation that is made time and time again is the level of disparity at C-Suite level when it comes to diversity.

When you think of Sales – does ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ automatically spring to mind? You’re probably not the only one! Now, we’re not saying all sales teams are like this, but the highly-competitive industry is often associated with attracting more men. With SaaS being one of the fastest-growing industry sectors, it’s also one of the most male-dominated with only 22% of C-Suite execs in the sector being women (according to SaaS industry council).

This gender disparity is even more pronounced in sales roles, where only 16% of C-suite executives are women.

So, why is there such disparity and why could this be a problem?

·        When hiring at this level, women can bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the table, and their absence at the C-suite level could mean these companies are missing out on a valuable resource.

·        A gender disparity could, in some situations create a hostile work environment for women in sales roles. When women are underrepresented at the top, they could be made to feel like they must work harder to prove themselves, which may result in some businesses losing top talent.

·        Ineffective sales strategies: Sales teams that may not be as gender diverse as others (in some circumstances) may not be understanding the needs of all of their customers, which can lead to ineffective sales strategies. Broader thinking can mean bigger revenue, which can mean boosted productivity.

·        What about the bottom line? Not trying to suggest that women at a senior level are the answer to everyone’s prayers. However, studies have shown that companies with women in senior leadership positions could be more profitable. It could go back to the thought of women bringing a different perspective to the table.

So, what could be done to address the disparity in the SaaS Sales sector?

·        When recruiting at C-Suite level, hiring managers should in theory make a conscious effort to hire based on a candidate’s previous experience and their ability to do a role.

·        Making sure that all promotional processes are fair and unbiased.

·        By taking steps to address the gender disparity in a company's own ranks, it can show other companies that it is possible to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

  • Providing more female role models: Businesses could provide female role models for young women who are interested in a career in sales. This can be done by hiring more women in senior sales roles, creating more opportunities for women to speak at industry events, and sharing the stories of successful women in sales.

The gender disparity at C-suite level in SaaS sales roles is something that seems to be an ongoing debate. By taking steps to recruit, promote, and support more women in these roles, companies can create a more diverse and inclusive workplace that is better for everyone.

This is just the beginning of a long journey. It’s a journey we here at Zetter Recruitment are playing a key part in too. We’re currently placing around 36% of females into the Senior leadership roles we recruit compared to the Industry standard of 18%. It’s something discussed in the latest version of our Salary report.

You can download a copy of our Sales Salary Report here -

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