Acumen Insights

Today’s Women Still Experience Gender Disparities in the Workplace

By January 30, 2017 No Comments

A joint study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company surveyed 34,000 employees from 39 different companies. The study found that women are still underrepresented at every level of organizations, with most disparity at higher levels. For example, the c-suite levels of these organizations were comprised of 81 percent men and 19 percent women. The SVP levels were comprised of 76 percent men and 24 percent women.

Women are not only poorly represented at various levels of the workforce, but they also experience disparities within it. For instance, women are less likely to be promoted to manager, so fewer end up on the path to leadership. Promotion rates are significantly lower for women compared to men. For every 100 women promoted, 130 men are promoted.

Women are also less likely to have access to senior leaders. Women report fewer interactions with senior leaders than their male counterparts. Fifty-one percent of women in senior management reported that they interacted with a company leader at least once a week, versus 62 percent of men. Women were also less likely to report that a senior leader outside of their direct management chain helped them get a promotion or challenging new assignment.

In terms of feedback, women are less likely to receive it than men. Women ask for informal feedback just as much as men. However, they receive it less frequently. Women were 20 percent less likely than men to report that their manager frequently gives them feedback that helps to improve their performance.

Finally, although women negotiate as often as men, they often receive pushback when they do. Women who negotiate are 30 percent more likely than men who negotiate to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy”. In addition, they are 67 percent more likely than women who do not negotiate to receive the same type of negative feedback.