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Time for a new gender-equality playbook

From McKinsey & Company: "More than 75 percent of CEOs include gender equality in their top ten business priorities, but gender outcomes across the largest companies are not changing. Our research indicates, for example, that corporate America promotes men at 30 percent higher rates than women during their early career stages and that entry-level women are significantly more likely than men to have spent five or more years in the same role.

Why is gender inequality in the workplace so persistent despite growing attention from business leaders and the media—and what should we all do differently? Our research suggests we fall short in translating top-level commitment into a truly inclusive work environment. We see strong evidence that even when top executives say the right things, employees don’t think they have a plan for making progress toward gender equality, don’t see those words backed up with action, don’t feel confident calling out gender bias when they see it, and don’t think frontline managers have gotten the message. Consider these findings from our survey conducted with LeanIn.Org, which included more than 130 companies and over 34,000 men and women:

  • Employees question the plan of attack. Companies have been trying to apply the same playbook of programs and policies for more than a decade. The vast majority of companies have flexibility, mentorship, and parental-leave programs. Despite these efforts, only 45 percent of employees think their companies are doing what it takes to improve diversity outcomes. The younger generation is even less confident—with only 38 percent of entry-level women thinking their company has a good handle on gender diversity."


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