Only 28% of company executives are women - report
33% of vice presidents are women, whilst 37% are senior managers or directors, according to a joint study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org.
The study looked into 276 participating organisations that are home to more than 27,000 employees and 270 senior HR leaders across America and Canada.
Whilst 28% is already an increase from just 17% in 2015, it is undeniable that this number is still nowhere near the equal percentage of men. In terms of managerial and directorial levels, representation has also grown by just a meager 3-4%.
The situation with women of color is another topic entirely, as it falls behind white women and men who belong to the same ethnicity. Of the 28% of women in C-suite positions, only 6% of this are women of color.
To address this inequality, companies must put in extra effort to advance and support women in the workplace through the following:
1. Utilize data to improve women’s experiences
Companies have repositories of data that might contain insights set to improve the status of women in the workplace. These insights can also generate equal opportunities for professional advancement, without being hindered by stereotypes at work.
This will also be beneficial in terms of performance management. Once employees see transparency translate to opportunities they can be involved in, they get more motivated to support others and perform better in their tasks.
2. Empower leaders who will empower people
In addition to empowering rank-and-file employees, managers and directors should also be capacitated to be successful people leaders. Generating revenue is important, but they must also look into their people’s career development, well-being, and overall diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
3. Address microaggressions
Microaggressions are harmful to everyone, more so to women who often experience discrimination. Hence, these must be faced by companies head-on by being clear that these acts will never be acceptable at work, and even outside.
To accomplish this, there should be policies that will reprimand microaggressions. Employees must also be equipped with the knowledge and skills to know what they should do if they ever get subjected to those kinds of situations. This is of utmost importance in creating a culture where women - and all employees - feel rightfully safe and empowered.
Being a company executive shall be based on capabilities, and never on gender or sexual orientation. As this study shows that women are still lagging behind in terms of holding positions of power, companies must strive to improve their treatment of women in the workplace. Senior leaders must empower their people, create good leaders, and be brave in fighting microaggressions, especially for those who have experienced being marginalized because of the gender they’re born with.