CXR Recommends: McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2021

The report has always been an interesting piece of research but perhaps more so in the past two years as the pandemic has impacted women disproportionately.

McKinsey and have been conducting a study of Women in The Workplace for seven years now. It’s always an interesting piece of research but perhaps more so in the past two years as the pandemic has impacted women disproportionately.

It’s a long report but well worth the time to review. In fact, we did just that at our recent CXR Community discussion around Women in Talent. One of the interesting takeaways from that discussion followed this stat from the report:

Certainly, the stat resonated with those in attendance but the larger conversation around how burnout could impact the world of talent is what stood out. Burnout appears to be building upon itself – not just getting worse but getting significantly worse. As organizations start implementing return to the office programs – how will burnout impact attraction? What about its impact on retaining women in leadership roles – a group that is already smaller than it should be?

A few other takeaways from the report:

  • There is still a “broken rung” at the first step up to manager. Since 2016, we have seen the same trend: women are promoted to manager at far lower rates than men, and this makes it nearly impossible for companies to lay a foundation for sustained progress at more senior levels.
  • Representation of women of color falls off relative to White men, White women, and men of color at every step in the corporate pipeline, leaving them severely underrepresented at the top
  • Companies still have work to do to create a culture that fully embraces and leverages diversity. HR leaders say that two things are critical to this effort: senior-level sponsorship and high employee engagement.

There’s a lot to unpack in this one. Read the full McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2021 Report.

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Barb Ruess

Barb Ruess

Barb's career in marketing and branding started with one of the very first job boards and has been focused on career search/talent acquisition in one way or another ever since. She has worked with CXR practically since its beginning and wears many hats from meeting planner to communications to marketing strategy and more.


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