For the last few years, companies have reported that they are highly committed to gender diversity. However, that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress.
Women continue to be vastly underrepresented at every level. For every 100 men promoted to manager, just 79 women are promoted, according to a report stated 'Women In Workplace 2018' by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org.
If companies continue to hire and promote women to the manager at current rates, the number of women in management will increase by just one percentage point over the next ten years. But if companies start hiring and promoting women and men to the manager at equal rates, we should get close to parity in management—approximately 48 percent women versus 52 percent men over the same ten years.
According to the study, only about half of employees think that their company sees gender diversity as a priority and is doing what it takes to make progress.
Experts agree that articulating a business case, setting goals and reporting on progress, and rewarding success is key to driving organizational change. Despite that, only 38 percent of companies set targets for gender representation and only 12 percent share a majority of gender diversity metrics with their employees.
The two biggest drivers of representation are hiring & promotions and companies are disadvantaging women in these areas from the beginning. Although women earn more bachelor’s degrees than men, they are less likely to be hired into entry-level jobs. At the first critical step up to a manager, the disparity widens further. “Women are less likely to be hired into manager-level jobs, and they are far less likely to be promoted into them. Largely because of these gender gaps, men end up holding 62 percent of management positions, while women hold only 38 percent”, stated the report.
Companies need to change the way they hire and promote entry- and manager-level employees to make real progress. This starts with treating gender diversity like the business priority it is, from setting targets to holding leaders accountable for results. It requires closing gender gaps in hiring and promotions, especially early in the pipeline when women are most often overlooked. And it means taking bolder steps to create respectful and inclusive workplaces.