I’m not going to lie, it was hard for me to swallow the findings of McKinsey & Company’s newly released Women in the Workplace report and summarize it for this incredible community of persevering women. Because we’ve heard it time and time again: women are doing critical work, but we’re exhausted. And our work is going unnoticed.
Now, those anecdotes are reflected in the data highlighted in this report from McKinsey, the largest study on the state of women in corporate America. McKinsey & Company worked in partnership with LeanIn.org to gather responses from 423 organizations and more than 65,000 people.
The findings aren’t all bad. While women have lived this for generations, we’ve also made great gains. Consider the following:
- Women managers are taking more action to support their teams, checking on their overall well-being regularly.
- Senior-level women were twice as likely as their male counterparts to spend more time on DEI work that falls outside of their normal responsibilities.
- Women make up 24 percent of the C-suite, a gain of five points from 2016.
However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. For example, women of color account for only 4 percent of C-suite leaders, a number that hasn’t moved significantly in the past three years. McKinsey & Company breaks that down even more:
- Asian women account for one in 15 women in entry-level roles, but only one in 50 women in the C-suite. Those women are more likely to experience microaggressions and get passed over for promotions. Furthermore, the report found that one in four Asian women has been personally impacted by racial trauma in the past year.
- Forty-three percent of Latinas said they’re currently spending five or more hours per day on housework and caregiving, compared to only 34 percent of women overall. This is all while juggling jobs outside the home.
- More than 60 percent of Black women said they’ve been personally affected by racial trauma in the past year.
- For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted.
- One in three women said they’ve considered downshifting or leaving the workforce this year, and four in 10 women have considered leaving their company or switching jobs. That outcome is reflected in high turnover rates.
- Only 25 percent of companies said they prioritize disability in their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The COVID-19 crisis has been especially challenging for women with disabilities, who were twice as likely to say that their career was hurt when they asked to set boundaries around their availability or take time off for mental health reasons.
The good news is companies can make progress, and there will still be strong women around to hold them accountable. As McKinsey & Company suggests, companies need to invest deeply in all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion. That starts with making sure all women are represented across the workplace.
It also starts with culture — creating one that fully leverages the benefits of diversity and makes women feel comfortable bringing their unique ideas, perspectives and experiences to the table.
I urge you to read the full report and share it with your colleagues, friends and family — the good, the bad and the ugly — and then take action upon McKinsey & Company’s recommendations.