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Women in the workplace

 "More companies are committing to gender equality. But progress will remain slow unless we confront blind spots on diversity—particularly regarding women of color, and employee perceptions of the status quo.” -Women in the Workplace 2017


Based on 2017 research from employee data from 222 companies in the US that employ more than 12 million people:

  1. On average, women continue to be hired and promoted at lower rates than men, and at senior levels, the gap in promotions is more pronounced for women of color.
  2. The lower representation of women does not appear to be driven by differences in company-level attrition: On average, women and men are leaving their organizations at about the same rate, and very few plan to leave the workforce to focus on family. Which shows, the lower representation of women in the workplace stems from a reason other than


The facts from research from McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org:


  • Fewer women than men are hired for the entry level jobs, despite women being 57% of recent college graduates.
  • 1/5 C-suite leaders is a woman, and fewer than 1/30 of the C-Suite is a woman of color.
  • Just as many men as women say they’ll leave a company to focus on family (the number that do is low: 2% or less of employees)
  • 80% of women who plan to leave their company in the next two years intend to continue to stay in the workforce.
  • Based on the results of a survey of more than 70,000 employees from eighty-two of this year’s participating companies, three trends that disadvantage women are clear: (1) Women experience a workplace skewed in favor of men. (2) Women of color, particularly Black women, face even greater challenges. (3) Women and men see the state of women—and the success of gender diversity efforts—differently; men have a more positive assessment that often clashes with reality.
  • Women are less likely to receive advice from managers and senior leaders on career advancement, yet employees who do are more likely to be promoted and promoted more quickly.
  • Women are less likely to interact regularly with senior leaders, yet employees who do are more likely to aspire to be top executives and be promoted to a higher position.
  • Men are more likely to think the workplace is equitable; women see a workplace that is less fair and offers less support. Based on research, women have the more accurate view.
  • Senior-level women negotiate more often than men at their same level. In turn, these women are far more likely to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy” when they do speak up.
  • Senior-level women are less likely to benefit from the support of a stay-at-home partner and work the “double shift” (doing the housework once coming home from their full time job).

What can your business do to combat these issues?

  1. Get higher-ups involved in showing that making sure a diversity of voices is represented in decision-making is important
  2. Invest in diversity training, and ensuring women are treated respectfully at work. Only 34% of women say that disrespectful behavior toward women is quickly addressed in their company.
  3. Ensure that hiring, promotions, and reviews are fair across all boards. Top-performing companies are more likely to have dedicated programs to improve promotion rates for women