About this study
Women in the Workplace is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America.
In 2015, McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org launched the study to help companies advance diversity in the workplace. Since then, close to 600 companies have participated in the study, more than a quarter of a million people were surveyed on their workplace experiences. Every year, the number of companies participating in this study has increased.
This year, 329 companies employing more than 13 million people shared their pipeline data or completed a survey of their HR practices. In addition, more than 68,500 employees were surveyed on their workplace experiences, and we interviewed women and men of different races and ethnicities, LGBTQ women and men, and women with disabilities at all levels in their organizations for additional insights.
McKinsey 2019 findings build on their data from the last four years, as well as similar research conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2012.
Sign up for the 2020 study at womenintheworkplace.com.
Five years in, we see bright spots at senior levels. But companies need to focus their efforts earlier in the pipeline to make real progress. In the last five years, we’ve seen more women rise to the top levels of companies.
An increasing number of companies are seeing the value of having more women in leadership, and they’re proving that they can make progress on gender diversity.
This is an important step in the right direction. Still, women continue to be underrepresented at every level. To change the numbers, companies need to focus where the real problem is.
We often talk about the “glass ceiling” that prevents women from reaching senior leadership positions.
In reality, the biggest obstacle that women face is much earlier in the pipeline, at the first step up to manager. Fixing this “broken rung” is the key to achieving parity.
The culture of work is equally important. All employees should feel respected and that they have an equal opportunity to grow and advance. Employees care deeply about opportunity and fairness, not only for themselves but for everyone. They want the system to be fair.
Done right, efforts to hire and promote more diverse candidates and create a strong culture reinforce each other. A more diverse workforce will naturally lead to a more inclusive culture. And when a company’s culture feels fair and inclusive, women and underrepresented groups are happier and more likely to thrive. By fostering diversity, building a culture of opportunity and fairness, and focusing their attention on the broken rung, companies can close their gender gaps—and make progress on the road to equalityWomen_in_the_Workplace_2019_mobile