Women’s History Month was established to highlight women that have made a positive impact in communities around the world. These countless trailblazers have inspired future generations to follow in their footsteps. This recognition is a great starting place and shows we have come a long way, but women still face sexism and gender inequality in the workplace.
Below we will talk about the disparities women face and what solutions can be done to close the gap.
Undervalued and Lack of Support
In a recent DiversityDB article, we talked about unconscious bias and how it is still thriving today. The problem with unconscious bias is that it’s not a valid excuse for women deserving of fair treatment. Unfortunately, metrics show that many organizations still perceive men to be more qualified than women. According to McKinsey and LeanIn survey, for every 100 men getting their first promotion, just 72 women are promoted. Women of color experience even lower promotion numbers with 78 Latinas and 58 Black women promoted to management. When employees are overlooked and undervalued at entry level to management positions, these limiting factors tend to persist at higher companies ranks as well.
Quite often women report that they don’t receive praises for their accomplishments. Meanwhile, men receive several praises for their services in emails and group meetings. This may seem trivial, but this often leads a disparity in male to female promotions. The McKinsey and LeanIn study showed that women are not granted equal chances as men for support and guidance in pursuing career opportunities. Unfortunately, as these problems continue, they will only hold women back in their advancements of their careers.
Lack of visibility is a substantial challenge for women in the workplace. The “boys club” continues to remain prevalent in many organizations. In this dynamic, men will support men and help one another climb the ladder of success and overlook women’s work and productivity. Women are often underappreciated and not allotted the same visibility or accolades as men.
In a Stanford University Study, female participants stated that they intentionally chose invisibility in the workplace. They did so to avoid backlash due as prior attempts at self-promotion were viewed negatively by male corporate leaders.
What Can We Do?
Women face many issues of equity at work including pressure at work, lack of mentorship, equal pay and more. It’s no longer enough to, once per year, simply highlight women and all the amazing things they do. It’s imperative companies and, organizations, put in more specific and actionable plans to advance women. It is imperative women have equal access to everything their male counterparts have access to. Now is the time to change the narrative and give women the respect they deserve and have earned.