The status of women in labor market is changing, but there are still significant differences between the sexes in management positions, in remuneration or in recognized merit. That’s how it shows women at workreport prepared by McKinsey & Companythe largest study on the status of women in major American corporations.
The report considered the opinions of 40,000 workers
In this research, data is collected from 333 organizations such as Visa, P&G, Mercedes, Kellogs or McDonalds, which employ more than 12 million people. In total, Women in the Workplace took into account the opinions of 40,000 female employees among whom criteria such as race, sexual diversity and abilities were taken into account.
One of the great challenges in the world of work for women continues to be female representation in management, something that is exacerbated with racialized women. There is what is called a “broken rung”, a barrier that prevents workers from climbing. The situation is getting worse to the point that many women in leadership positions are leaving their companies. “The gap is the biggest we’ve ever seen“, underline the authors of the study.
The high command is inaccessible
For every female manager who advances to the next level, two of her peers choose to leave their company. A) Yes, many workers abandon their jobs in search of better conditions. Likewise, there is a tendency, more acute among them, to reduce the workload of hours. Last year, 29% of women and 22% of men thought they would take up a less demanding job or even quit temporarily.
At the so-called entry level, 48% of workers are women, of which 19% are minority employees. The percentages are reduced down to the “C-Suite” category, considered the most important group of influential individuals in a company, where women are only 21%, with a tiny 5% for women of color. “When I joined this company, I noticed that there were a lot of women and people of color in leadership. It let me know that it was possible to move forward”, is one of the testimonies of a black woman who has reached the role of ‘manager’ which appears in the study Women in the Workplace.
“For the first time in my career, I see people leaving for other companies with a broader teleworking policy. So I looked at the data and realized something… They were all women», assures a vice-president of a minority. Similarly, there are profound differences depending on the type of occupation. Even today they are huge differences in sectors such as engineering or technical jobs, where women are poorly represented. This condemns employees who work in these unions to suffer higher rates of bias.
“Gender plays a role in being overlooked and being denied opportunities”
“Their opinions in their area of expertise are more likely to be challenged than workers in non-technical roles. Gender plays a role in their being neglected and deprived of opportunities. These trends have worrying implications for gender equality“, they explain to McKinsey & Company. The consultant assures that “if women in these positions have negative day-to-day experiences and do not see an equitable path forward, there could be larger gaps in representation and earnings compared to men”.
“In the engineering sector, almost all are men. It’s been like that for a long time. When I was in middle school, there were only five women in a class of 60 men. When I started working, the situation happened again. The situation we face is a great challenge“Explains a Latina manager, who recalls that 32% of women in technical positions are alone in their workplace.
No response to requests
So, women leaders demand more from their companies and are willing to change jobs to get it. Several factors drive their decisions:
- Women leaders want to move forward, but face the currents against stronger than men
- Women in leadership positions are just as likely as men at their level want to be promoted and aspire in high-level positions
- In many companies, they know “microaggressions” who undermine their authority
- Women in leadership positions are significantly more likely than male leaders to their opinions are questioned
- Women leaders believe that reporting on issues such as Being a mother and her own status as a woman influencing them when they ask for a raise, a promotion, or a chance to advance
“I have repeatedly asked what I can do to improve and never get positive answers. I’m thinking of leaving. My business will suffer a great loss because I was not offered the opportunity to advance. I feel like I hit the ceiling here“, tells the investigation a South Asian woman who occupies a position of senior executive. In short, female leaders are much more likely than male leaders to leave their jobs because want more flexibility or because they want to work for a the company most committed to the well-being, diversity, equity and inclusion of its employees.
Under these circumstances, companies run the risk of losing young women. More than two-thirds of under-30s want to be leaders and grow, while more than 66% aspire to be senior leaders and half say that being able to grow in structures has become crucial for them.
Among the main reasons workers give for changing jobs Opportunity for advancement (48%) is followed by criticism from superiors who are not supportive (22%) with flexibility (20%) in third place. However, each woman with a situation that hinders her growth behaves differently. Women of color are more ambitious, even if they have less support. 41% are concerned in their career, but up to 27% of respondents aspire to become senior managers.
In many cases, it happens that women, with their demands, reinforce changes such as consolidation of telework. So only 7% of companies plan to phase out remote or hybrid working next year and 32% are likely to expand it. This choice has become fundamental when it comes to work. Up to 61% of women prefer working primarily remotely, while 25% opt for a hybrid model and only 10% prefer face-to-face work, compared to 18% of men.
Retain female leaders
By retaining female talent, managers and leadership positions play a vital role in shaping work experiences. When managers invest in people management and commit to equality, women, and the workforce in general, show less burnout. Likewise, connect the Talent flight. The problem is that there is a growing gap between what is expected of managers and the rewards they give.
Most companies say they expected them to be more proactive about employee well-being, however, Few companies are sufficiently trained to respond to new demands. Only half of women say their manager regularly encourages respectful behavior within their team, and less than half think managers are interested in their careers or the distribution of the workload.
For make meaningful and lasting progress towards gender equalityor, from McKinsey & Company, meaningful and sustainable progress is needed, with companies focusing on two overarching goals:
- Bringing more women into leadership positions
- Retain women leaders who have already
This requires going beyond the platitudes, as companies that have greater representation of women—especially women of color—perform better results, according to the study. It all starts with identifying the gender gapa step prior to the promotion of talent to ensure that the structures are fair.
In conclusion, the covid crisis and anti-discrimination movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘Me Too’ have caused American companies to rethink the way they work. After two and a half years, employees do not want to return to the work of the past and are looking to move forward, especially women, who are showing ambition and great commitment. “They are more inclusive and empathetic leaders. They want to work for people who prioritize cultural change that improves work environments based on flexibility, well-being, fairness and inclusion. Companies that deliver will retain female leaders and that will mean winning the battle for talentsay the authors of Women in the Workplace.
More information.: Women at Work 2022