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McKinsey & Company released its 9th annual Women in the Workplace Report, the largest study of women in corporate America and Canada. This year’s report surveyed more than 27,000 employees and 270 Senior HR leaders to provide an intersectional view of the progress and barriers faced by White, Asian, Black, Latina, LGBTQ+ women and women with disabilities. This year’s results reveal gains for women in the C-suite, lags in middle management, and continued underrepresentation of women of color across the board. For example, women represent roughly one in four C-suite leaders, and women of color just one in sixteen.

This year’s study also identified and debunked four myths:

  • Myth: Women are becoming less ambitious. The reality is that women are more ambitious than before the pandemic, and flexibility is fueling that ambition.
  • Myth: The biggest barrier to women’s advancement is the ‘glass ceiling’. The reality is that the broken ‘broken rung’ is the greatest obstacle women face in the path to senior leadership.
  • Myth: Microaggressions have a ‘micro’ impact. The reality is that microaggressions have a large and lasting impact on women.
  • Myth: It’s mostly women who want – and benefit from – flexible work. The reality is that men and women see flexibility as a ‘top 3’ employee benefit and critical to their company’s success.

As companies support women in the workplace, it’s important that they plug into new studies, learn from the data, and implement recommendations that help make meaningful progress. Tracking outcomes for women’s representations, empowering managers to be effective people leaders, addressing microaggressions, embracing flexible work, and fixing the broken rung are powerful recommendations from this study. Delving deeper into ensuring that women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities are represented and supported helps ensure no one gets left behind as you dismantle challenges for women in the workplace.

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The Editor

Ngozi Okeh is an experienced leader with a history of driving efforts to conceptualize, define, assess and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as strategic business processes. Ngozi is currently the Director of DEI at a leading marketing technology company where she develops and executes enterprise-wide DEI initiatives through rigorous strategic planning efforts, community partnerships, leadership collaboration, strategy evaluation, and careful management of communication and buy-in as well as policies and procedures.  Previously, she worked at an independent mortgage bank, where… View Profile