In 2022, women make up half of the workforce in America, however, they are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions. What’s more, a recent study by McKinsey & Company found that the number of women quitting their jobs at mid-level and senior levels is on the rise.
So what can the business world learn from these findings in corporate America, and what can be done to promote and retain more women in leadership roles? Read on to find out.
The 2022 Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey & Company found that women are leaving their jobs at a faster rate than men, particularly in senior leadership positions. In fact, the study found that 60% of women in mid-level positions were considering downshifting or leaving their job entirely. The authors of the report illustrated this finding further by stating that for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave their company.
One reason for this trend may be the lack of support and advancement opportunities for women in the workplace. The study found that only 44% of women felt they had equal opportunities for promotion, compared to 54% of men. Additionally, only 59% of women believed their company took steps to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce, compared to 68% of men who believed this to be true.
Women leaders are just as ambitious and driven to succeed in the workplace, but at many companies, they face headwinds that make it harder for them. They’re more likely than men counterparts to get called into question about their judgment or mistaken for someone less qualified when working towards promotions; female employees often feel like there isn’t enough support coming from management even though it’s women who spend time looking after others, often at the expense of spreading themselves too thin.
A possible solution
So what can companies do to promote more women into leadership roles?
McKinsey & Company believes that common practices are not enough to achieve gender equality. The report authors said that to make meaningful and sustainable progress, companies should focus on two broad goals: getting more women into leadership roles as well as retaining them once they’re there – and this will likely mean pushing beyond what some may consider “normal.”
For example by doubling down when it comes time for setting goals or tracking outcomes so managers have concrete data about how their efforts affect female representation at higher levels within an organisation; offering dedicated programs designed specifically around building trust between coworkers regardless of background skill set or gender; and being transparent about the company’s efforts towards diversity and inclusivity, including publicly sharing information about representation at all levels within the organisation.
By taking a closer look at research such as 2022 Women in the Workplace and learning why women are leaving leadership positions in droves, the corporate world will be much better equipped to come up with solutions that promote equality and retention within their workplaces.