From service jobs to CEOs, women’s positions in the workplace have changed dramatically in the past decades. Today, women still face unforeseen challenges. Women are feeling more burnt out than ever. Since the pandemic, more and more women have been represented in senior leadership positions, which is encouraging. However, women now are increasing more burnout than men.
This article highlights the 2021 Women In the Workplace report done by Mckinsey & Company. It is the most extensive study on the state of women in corporate America. Four hundred twenty-three organizations with more than 65,000 employees participated in this study. Individual interviews with women of diverse identities, including women of color, LGBTQ+, and women with disabilities, were conducted.
From 2016, we have seen that women are promoted to manager at a far lower rate than men. One in three women considers downshifting their careers or leaving their workplace in 2021. Moreover, 4 in 10 women also consider leaving their companies or switching careers. Representation of women falls at every corporate pipeline compared to men.
While there’s an increasing number of women in leadership positions, women of color still face considerable challenges gaining representation. The representation of women of color drops more than 75 percent between the entry-level to C-suite. In 2021, women of color only made up 4% of C-suite level positions; this number has not changed much in the past three years.
Asian women tend to be overlooked at work and less likely than other groups of women to receive positive feedback on their leadership abilities. Over 16% of Asian women encountered getting mistaken by their co-worker for someone else of their race. Therefore, it is harder for Asian women to get recognized in the workplace.
Black women are more likely to face higher barriers in the workplace by almost any measure. They experience more microaggression than any other woman of color, and over 60% of Black women have personally been affected by racial trauma in the past year. Even though Black women face challenging situations at the workplace, they spend more time devote themselves to DEI work than any group of employees.
Latinas are less likely to have flexible work should among other groups of women, and they are less likely to take time off for their families or personal health than other races and ethnicities. Almost a third of Latinas carry on both responsibilities of taking care of the children and elderly, which leads to a low work-life balance for many Latinas. For immigrant Latinas, the situation is even more challenging.
Companies need to embrace the fast-changing society and develop sound strategies to help employees get through pandemics. In the meantime, stay focused on employees’ gender and racial equity. Inclusion and diversity are critical for excellent company culture. Practice and celebrate women’s diversity and equity. Create a better workplace where all employees, all women, feel they belong.
About the author: Vera Zhou is a Marketing and Communications Intern at Commonwealth Corporation. She is a graduate student at Boston University pursuing a Master’s in Emerging Media.