More from McKinsey on Women in the Workplace

Last spring I wrote a post about a new report from McKinsey about its research on the advancement of women in the workplace, particularly large corporations. The McKinsey Quarterly (free once you register) has now followed that with a further report that suggest approaches for increasing the number of women at the higher levels of corporations, government, and academia. As usual with McKinsey, the insights apply to not-for-profits as well.

The conclusion? Well, progress has been made, but structural problems remain:
Firmly entrenched barriers continue to hinder the progress of high-potential women: many of those who start out with high ambitions, for instance, leave for greener pastures, settle for less demanding staff roles, or simply opt out of the workforce. . . And everywhere we look, despite numerous gender diversity initiatives, too few women reach the executive committee, and too few boards have more than a token number of women.
So what is to be done? McKinsey offers four strategies for committed leaders to follow:

1. Treat gender diversity like any other strategic business initiative - ie, set a goal and monitor it regularly. Expect the process to take some time, possibly years. Keep asking about it.

2. Ask for--and talk about--the data - in particular, think about the points where women exit. Why do they leave then? How many women are in the pipeline? Oh, and hold everyone in senior management accountable for those numbers.

3. Establish a culture of sponsorship - everyone, men and women, should sponsor, mentor, support two or three future leaders. And the current CEO/ED should spend time with them on visits.

4. Raise awareness of what a diverse work environment looks like - talk about your efforts; celebrate and publicize success.

And if you're in the US and still reading on November 6, don't forget to vote!

No comments:

Popular Posts