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Takeaways from Mckinsey's 2018 Women in the Workplace report

2018 McKinsey Report of Gender in the Workplace Showing More of the Same. Fed up yet? Me Too.

By | #bettertogether, #metoo to #wetoo, Diverity & Inclusion, Gender Inclusion | No Comments

Takeaways from Mckinsey’s 2018 Women in the Workplace report: In what is widely considered the primary barometer for the state of gender equity in the workforce, McKinsey’s annual report of gender parity in the workplace summarizes a stagnation in gender parity that is concerning but also raises some insight into potential solutions through inclusive culture transformation.

The report: pooling from 279 companies employing more than 13 million people, and features data compiled from their organizations. Like past reports, we notice a continuing trend of women being under-represented in the workforce and continually squeezed out of the workplace as they move higher up the corporate ladder. Women still make up the majority of college grads and leave the workforce at the same rate as men, highlighting that another year has gone by with seemingly the same dynamics at play that continue to hold women back and thus perpetuate the bigger issue of gender parity as a whole. Tired of watching another year go by with the same story unfolding? ME TOO.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • The root of the problem is culture.
  • Inclusion is the key to sustainable change
  • Leadership is the catalyst

The root of the problem is culture.   

While the still-prevalent accounts of sexual harassment are concerning, appalling and worthy of mention, for the sake of this article, I would like to discuss the phenomenon of microaggressions and the “only” experience that highlight the nuanced complexities of the cultural roots behind gender workplace inequality. Being the “Only” woman in a room is an occurrence experienced by one in five professional women and results in the higher likelihood of a woman experiencing, microaggressions, disengagement or worse, sexual harassment. Microaggressions can be described as experiencing a demeaning comment, having to provide more evidence of one’s competence, or being mistaken for someone much more junior. These experiences are products of a workplace culture that fosters an environment that perpetuates the exclusion of female workers throughout their professional life cycle.

Inclusion is the key to sustainable change 

Women are far more likely to experience microaggressions than men. This is only augmented by women who are “Onlys” and all the above result in women being forced out of the workforce pipeline through blatant exclusion in the form of lower promotion rates, or indirectly in the form of attrition because of disengagement. As a result, the issue of female under-representation and exclusion becomes a compounded snowballing effect. Inclusion needs to be the key to changing the focus of our current corporate workplace culture. Through training, gender advocacy and a general shift in workplace values, we can create a workplace that invites, empowers and advances female talent while decreasing the tolerance of, and likelihood for microaggressions, being an “Only” and overall female exclusion.

Leadership is the catalyst  

Leadership is the catalyst for instilling and enforcing an inclusive culture. Buy-in for inclusion and intolerance for exclusion must come from the top and perpetuate all the way down to the entry-level. Leadership is also the key component to fostering inclusion through engagement and advancement. Currently, women are less likely to see their work featured by their managers (at every stage of the employee life cycle) and are far less likely gain valuable access to senior leadership both of which are primary factors in an employee’s ability to advance within a company, and subsequently not leave. Under an umbrella of inclusion, leadership practices are the catalyst for the culture change the current corporate workforce needs if it is to achieve the gender equity that is not only fair but extremely necessary and overdue.

Takeaways from Mckinsey's 2018 Women in the Workplace report

Leaders need to take the lead when it comes to pioneering future gender equity efforts

Women are excluded through workplace culture that perpetuates inequality and is either purposefully, or inadvertently, upheld by workplace leadership figures from the management level all the way to the C-suite levels. The opportunity for change is there and the rewards for change are prevalent. The Question is: who will be the ones to seize it?

How is Lead Inclusively working to change and leverage personnel in leadership to the benefit of desired D&I transformation?

Leadership and culture are complex, yet vital, components necessary to effectively harness inclusion to the benefit of company innovation and productivity. Increasingly, larger companies are losing out on top talent, and subsequent innovation, to more agile companies who are more flexible and capable of implementing culture change when needed. See some ways how larger, less agile, companies are effectively delivering key learning and culture change at scale.

Also feel free to find us on LinkedIn and Facebook. We are a small team but we always find time to share content that is relevant to the most important D&I topics, and valuable towards inspiring dialogue to guide us all towards viable solutions. We ultimately are all Champions of Change and proponents of equity to all (Women and Men alike). Every interaction we can all share together is one more valuable step towards action and tangible change that makes our world fair and equitable for all.

 

Life Sciences Fireside Chat Program Recap

By | #bettertogether, Gender Inclusion, News and Events

Blog recap of Athena Life Sciences Special Interest Group program: Fireside Chat with notable women in science.

Linda Strause, PhD and Sara Gilman, LMFT met because they both enjoy cycling.  They became close friends because, in addition to cycling, they shared a philosophy that life’s challenges could create such deviations from the most direct route to success, that navigating without a map might actually make more sense.

As a scholar of leadership, I often hear inspirational stories about how professionals achieved success.  This is the first time, however, that I have heard a story of the syncopation of two leaders whose paths have intersected with such serendipity, despite the fact that both walked (or rather cycled) their journey without a map and that their respective compasses were not always tracking true north.

Linda, the Principal and Founder of Strategic Clinical Consultants, shared with us that as she was working tirelessly in the field of oncology, her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.  Sara, the Founder & President of Coherence Associates, Inc.,  shared with us that while she was working zealously as a family therapist to help others to battle addiction, she came to understand that her own son was experiencing his own battle with addiction.  Powerhouses in their own right, each was powerless to “fix” a problem in their own families, related to their respective expertise.  Their work, their cycling, their friendship and their family life worked in unison to help them heal, as well as stay focused on success, as the gentle sway of the road turned at times to hairpin curves.

The sons of both women eventually joined them in their “Mom-Owned Businesses,” and each credits her son with having insight into the business complementary to her own set of skills.

The definition of success varies with the individual.  It would be easy to define both women as a success.  Linda Strause has thirty years of experience in global clinical operations and clinical development in oncology.  Sara Gilman has created a company consisting of a team of counselors and family therapists.  As Sara explained a breathing technique that is used to reinforce the heart’s regulation of emotional response to create mental toughness, Linda ended the Athena session with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”  I might add that to thrive in business, while simultaneously administering to the needs of loved ones, takes great courage.  It would be easy to forsake one for the other, and the extremes of selfishness or selflessness are far more common than the balance between them.

Get more innovative! To augment your own life sciences organization, take a moment to learn more about about our Life Sciences Innovation Labs.

By Denise Hummel, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Lead Inclusively, Inc.

 

Trends: Emmy Awards Diversity Boom Reflects the Times

By | #bettertogether, Diverity & Inclusion, News and Events, Racial Inclusion

Now we’re talking!

Among the milestones this year are Kenya Barris becoming the first solo African-American series creator to be nominated for comedy series, as well as Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang of Netflix’s “Master of None” becoming the first Indian-American and Asian-American series creators to land a comedy series nomination. John Singleton, a director of FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” became the first black helmer to be nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy.

Emmy Awards’ Diversity Boom Reflects America

News: Saatchi Chairman Has Resigned Following His Controversial Gender Diversity Remarks

By | #bettertogether, #metoo to #wetoo, Gender Inclusion, Uncategorized

 

Kevin Roberts was recently quoted as stating about women professionals, “Their ambition is not a vertical ambition, it’s this intrinsic, circular ambition to be happy. So they say: ‘We are not judging ourselves by those standards that you idiotic dinosaur-like men judge yourself by.’”

Without judgment about the prudence of his statements (which history will record as resulting in his resignation) or the factual truth (neuroscience has clearly demonstrated the incongruencies of his statements regarding the way women think), we must examine both the maturity model of the organizational, national, gender and generational issues associated with the gender “debate.”

Beyond that — Roberts’ quote is so telling about the lack of preparedness of senior executives to effectively address this issue publicly in a way that  puts the company represented in the best possible light regarding gender parity awareness.  The statistics, from the World Economic Forum to every major global consulting firm in the world support the fact that without a shift towards inclusive leadership, teaming, organizational policies and global community, that we will not reach gender parity for the better part of a century.

Most of us, men and women, if we are mentally and emotionally healthy, have the ambition to be happy.  In terms of vertical ambition, some of us, men and women, may wish to rise to senior leadership for increased money, power, and status.  The rest of us, men and women, want to rise to senior leadership so that we can assist our organizations, our people, and our mission to achieve through our thought-leadership, loyalty, and commitment to what our organizations stand for in the global economy and global community.  The defining factor around this is not a gender issue, but rather an issue of individual ethos and personal mission of what we stand for as people and professionals on this earth. Together we can become champions of change for gender parity in the workplace.

Learn more about developing Champions of Change with our one-day workshop.

I hire people who I know will challenge me …

By | #bettertogether, Inclusive Innovation, Inclusive Leadership

It’s scary to hire people with a voice – particularly when they are pushing up against prevailing thought, but doing so can reduce risk and propel innovation.

The intersection of inclusive behaviors and innovative behaviors is a significant part of the work that we do at Lead Inclusively. Learn more about that intersection: check out our Design Thinking-centered Inclusive Innovation Lab.