Deloitte released their second annual study on the engagement and career progression experiences of women in the workplace through a survey of 5,000 across 10 countries and sectors and it uncovers some interesting insights.
The most compelling finding in this study is that inclusive, supportive organizations gain a competitive advantage. This has been an anecdotal assumption for many years which several studies have proven. Deloitte has managed to identify a small sample of women who work for companies considered “Gender Equality Leaders”- companies who have been successful at increasing diversity and fostering equity and inclusion. The women who work at these companies reported lower burnout, greater mental health support, and higher engagement, trust, and career satisfaction overall than their peers at other companies. This builds the foundation that DEI practitioners base their work from; that creating a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment makes a difference in the lives of those most marginalized in the workplace.
The study makes five recommendations for organizations to improve the state of women in the workplace:
- Address the burnout epidemic
- Make mental wellbeing a priority
- Make flexible working work for women
- Approach hybrid working with inclusion and flexibility in mind
- Instill a truly inclusive culture
Additional findings include that:
- Hybrid work presents valuable opportunities for flexibility, but challenges do exist, including feelings of exclusion, exposure to leaders, and access to sponsorship and career progression.
- Harassment and microaggressions are on the rise. 59% of women have experienced harassment and microaggressions (such as unwanted physical advances, disparaging comments, being interrupted, talked over, patronized etc). which is an increase over 52% from 2021. Many of these incidents go unreported due to fears of retaliation.
It’s worth noting that while the conclusions of this survey are helpful and can be corroborated with other studies such as the results of the 2021 McKinsey Women in the Workplace study, it doesn’t delve into the nuances in experience based on intersectional identities. For example, 98% of respondents were heterosexual so we are unable to draw meaningful conclusions about those from other sexual orientations. In addition, over half of the respondents were White, while just 2% were Hispanic, Latinx, or of Spanish origin.
At PracticalESG.com, we’ve written about many of these topics to ensure that your DEI initiative is effective. For these valuable resources, check out checklists available on PracticalESG.com and dig into our detailed and refreshed series on making mental wellbeing a priority in your organization. If you aren’t already a member with access to our checklists, podcasts, guidebooks, sample disclosures and other resources, sign up now and take advantage of our no-risk “100-Day Promise” – During the first 100 days as an activated member, you may cancel for any reason and receive a full refund.