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2 Steps Forward, 3 Steps Back - Women at Work

Two of the key Women at Work Reports in 2022 are out from McKinsey and Deloitte and it makes rather frustrating reading, given all the work over the last few years! Whilst there has been so much work done in organisations and industries; from raising awareness to equality in candidate and promotion slates; flexible working to education; we have ended up in some cases going backwards - SIGH.


I've summarised the Key Headlines and the 7 key recommendations from both below.


Here are some of the key messages from McKinsey:


Last year, women leaders left their companies at the highest rate in years—and the gap between women and men leaving was the largest it’s been.


43% of women leaders are burned out, compared to only 31% of men at their level.


37% of women leaders have had a coworker get credit for their idea, compared to 27% of men leaders.


Women leaders are 2x as likely as men leaders to be mistaken for someone more junior (oh yes, this one happened to me many times!!)


Women leaders are 2x as likely as men leaders to spend substantial time on Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work (and this... with the added bonus of the next one...).


40% of women leaders say their DEI work isn’t acknowledged at all in performance reviews.


The Broken Rung is a phenomenon where women don't get that 'early promotion' - the first step on the ladder, so are disadvantaged all the way through. The way this language manifests itself is "There just aren't enough good women higher up".


Deloitte's research also demonstrated a significant shift in mindset, with more than 1/2 the women surveyed wanting to leave in the next 2 years.


They also found that harassment and microaggressions against women have increased year over year. The 2022 data reveals that 59% of women have experienced at least one non-inclusive behaviour in the past year, compared with 52% in the 2021 research.

What's the rub?
Women are more burned out, resigning from their roles (whether it be due to toxic culture, lack of flexibility or just exhaustion) and still face harassment and / or microaggressions.

The impact for Organisations will be significant, from reduced diversity of thought, capabilities and skill sets to the practicality of missing equality targets.




What do they recommend?

  1. Ensure flexible and remote working is offered and encouraged equally 🔁 without it impacting promotion or career opportunities. Clearly communicate these to all and keep a pulse check on what your employees what in the future.

  2. Address the burnout 🔥 epidemic

  3. Make mental health 🧠 a priority

  4. Build a truly respectful and inclusive 🙌🏼 working culture

  5. Be deliberate about connecting 💬 staff in person - whether it be a quarterly planning session or team building dinner. IRL (in real life) is important.

  6. Leadership is crucial 🌟 - they need to understand how avoid burnout, ensure promotions are equitable, recognise broader contributions like DEI from their teams. Then celebrate the great ones - hold them up high as examples to others to learn.

You can read the full reports here:

McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2022

Deloitte Women at Work 2022


 

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