How companies can guard against gender fatigue  

9 March 2018:

Most of the corporate world has set a bold aspiration to achieve equality for women in the workplace. Ninety percent of US companies in our latest research, for example, say they are “very committed” to this goal, and just about all of them are taking action.

It’s also obvious that we’re still in the early stages of the journey: Currently, just 20 percent of C-suite executives in the United States are female. Although that figure is inching up—from 19 percent a year ago—more than one CEO has confided to us, “We’re implementing all the best practices, but the numbers aren’t moving fast enough, and I’m worried about maintaining the energy we need to keep going.”

The good news is there are ways to counter change fatigue. Our third annual Women in the Workplace report, developed in collaboration with LeanIn.Org, shows the importance of executing the basics with conviction. The experience of 70,000 surveyed employees, coupled with performance benchmarking of the 222 participating companies, shines a light on bolder actions we see from companies that are top performers in employing and promoting women.

Break through on the basics
Many companies have put in place the right building blocks: They’re developing a business case, tracking gender representation across the workforce, and developing training, flexibility, and networking programs. Breaking through on the basics isn’t easy, though.

Consider the metrics: Some 85 percent of companies surveyed track gender representation. Yet less than a third set targets, and transparency is rarer still. Most companies say they share a majority of diversity metrics with senior leaders, but just 23 percent do so with managers, and a mere 8 percent with all employees. It’s the same with the business case: 78 percent of companies say they articulate one, but only 16 percent back up the case with data.

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Source: McKinsey

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