From entry level to the C-suite, women are underrepresented at US corporations, less likely to advance than men, and face more barriers to senior leadership. In fact, at the rate of progress of the past three years, it will take more than 100 years for the upper reaches of US corporations to achieve gender parity.
These are the principal findings of Women in the Workplace, a study undertaken by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey to encourage female leadership and gender equality in the workforce. Some 118 companies and nearly 30,000 employees participated in the study, building on a similar effort conducted by McKinsey in 2012.1The new study revealed that despite modest improvements, the overarching findings were similar: women remain underrepresented at every level of the corporate pipeline, with the disparity greatest at senior levels of leadership (exhibit).
Women in the Workplace found that for numerous reasons, women are simply less likely than men to advance: they experience an uneven playing field, with their odds of advancement lower at every level; there is a persistent leadership gap in the most senior roles; gender diversity is not widely believed to be a priority; and while employee programs designed to help balance work and family are abundant, participation is low among both sexes due to concerns that using them will negatively affect their careers.
This is an edited extract from Women in the Workplace, a study undertaken by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey. For more information, visit womenintheworkplace.com.