Women have made important gains in representation across most of the corporate pipeline at the end of 2020, especially in senior leadership. But due to the stress and exhaustion of the COVID-19 pandemic, women are significantly more burned out than men. One in three women said they have considered downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce this year, compared to 1 in 4 who said this a few months into the pandemic.
Women are rising as stronger leaders and taking on the extra work that comes with leadership. Women do more than men to support their teams and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Yet many companies fail to recognize and reward women’s critical work. There are also persistent gaps in the pipeline. Women are promoted to manager at far lower rates than men. Companies are failing to lay a foundation for sustained progress at more senior levels.
The gains in representation for women overall haven’t translated to gains for women of color. Women of color continue to lose ground at every level. Between the entry level and the executive level positions, the representation of women of color drops off by more than 75 percent.
Even companies’ growing commitment to racial equity has not led to an improvement in the daily experiences of women of color. Women of color still face similar types and relative frequencies of microaggressions as they did two years ago. They are more likely than white women to be on the receiving end of disrespectful behavior. White employees have not progressed since last year in their willingness to speak out against discrimination, mentor or sponsor women of color, or take other actions to advocate for them.
Source: Women in the Workplace 2021
© 1996 –2016 McKinsey & Company