Women in the Workplace 2017

More companies are committing to gender equality. But progress will remain slow unless we confront blind spots on diversity—particularly regarding women of color, and employee perceptions of the status quo.

Focusing on What Works for Workplace Diversity

For faster progress, companies need to draw on the power of design, rethink their assumptions, and use data to inform decision making.

Women Matter: Ten Years of Insights on Gender Diversity

A decade into our research, we highlight key findings—and invite 16 global leaders to look at how to increase gender diversity in corporations and imagine the inclusive company of the future.

Iris Bohnet

About $8 billion a year is spent on diversity trainings in the United States alone. Now, I tried very hard to find any evidence I could. […] Sadly enough, I did not find a single study that found that diversity training in fact leads to more diversity. Now, that’s disappointing, discouraging, but maybe when we unpack it also understandable. The unpacking means that there’s a … [ Read more ]

Adam Bryant

I believe it’s time to give the narrative about whether men and women lead differently a rest. Yes, we need to keep talking and writing about why there are so few women in the top ranks. But this trope about different styles of leadership among men and women seems past its expiration date.

And while we’re at it, could everyone agree to drop the predictable questions … [ Read more ]

Allison Kluger

Women rarely do something unless they feel 100% certain they can, and men only have to feel like they’re 60% certain. But if a woman and a man go and take the same exam, women will do just as well or better. As women, it’s easy to opt out of things that make us nervous, but we should develop a mind-set of, “I’m going to … [ Read more ]

Research: Objective Performance Metrics Are Not Enough to Overcome Gender Bias

In various contexts, such as entrepreneurship and hiring, people often exhibit a preference for men over women when information about an individual’s quality (for example, their expected performance) is unavailable or unclear. Even when performance information is available, lab-based research has shown that women still tend to be disadvantaged, compared with men of equal quality. This double standard means women must outperform men to be … [ Read more ]

A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work

Gender equality remains frustratingly elusive. Women are underrepresented in the C-suite, receive lower salaries, and are less likely to receive a critical first promotion to manager than men. Numerous causes have been suggested, but one argument that persists points to differences in men and women’s behavior.

Which raises the question: Do women and men act all that differently? We realized that there’s little to no concrete … [ Read more ]

Research: Men Get Credit for Voicing Ideas, but Not Problems. Women Don’t Get Credit for Either

A lot of research suggests that those who speak the most in groups tend to emerge as leaders.

But does it matter who speaks up, or how they do it? In a forthcoming article in Academy of Management Journal, my colleagues Elizabeth McClean, Kyle Emich, and Todd Woodruff and I share how we explored these questions in two studies. We found that those who speak up … [ Read more ]

The Five Ways Work Isn’t a Level Playing Field

In the office or in a lecture hall, women are no less capable than men, biologically and intellectually. Yet gender disparity, equal pay, and other gender issues persist. Why? Even with programs that seek to create gender equality becoming increasingly common, men and women are working on an uneven playing field. Here are five ways the work environment is unfair, and what women — and … [ Read more ]

To Understand Whether Your Company Is Inclusive, Map How Your Employees Interact

To gauge the impact of diversity and inclusion efforts, companies typically track metrics on the hiring, attrition, promotion, and composition of the current workforce. While such statistics are useful, they don’t provide a fully accurate picture. In reality, diversity and inclusion are not merely the number of nonwhite male employees you have. Rather, a truly inclusive organization contains a diverse cross-section of employees who actually … [ Read more ]

Miles to Go: Stepping Up Progress Toward Gender Equality

There are 10 gender “impact zones” that need to be addressed in order to accelerate progress toward gender parity.

Does Gender Diversity on Boards Really Boost Company Performance?

Many commentators suggest that gender diversity in the corporate boardroom improves company performance because of the different points of view and experience it offers. However, rigorous, peer-reviewed academic research paints a different picture. Despite the intuitive appeal of the argument that gender diversity on the board improves company performance, research suggests otherwise.

Results of numerous academic studies of the topic suggest that the presence of more … [ Read more ]

How to Accelerate Gender Diversity on Boards

Slow progress in adding more women to boards has dominated the conversation. But tips from standout companies are more likely to inspire others to take firmer action.

Breaking Down the Gender Challenge

To make meaningful progress on gender diversity, companies must move beyond the averages and focus on the biggest pain points.

Where Are All the Women?

You want to hire women. And women want to be hired. So what’s the problem? You need to change your game plan and make your rules more flexible. Here’s how to get started.

Female CEOs: A Steady Hand at the Wheel

Bottom Line: The number of women presiding over large companies still lags far behind men, yet the firms they lead tend to be more risk averse and more profitable over the long term.

Why Women Have Stalled and What Can Be Done About It

According to Professor of Organizational Behavior Shelley Correll, women are not seeing career advancement and opportunities they way they did in past decades. Despite good intentions by corporations and individuals, unconscious biases are holding women back. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

The Organization Man and Woman

I was struck, yet unsurprised, by a new survey featured in the Financial Times showing that women view “workplace culture” as the biggest impediment to their careers by a significant margin. Although work–life balance continues to monopolize public discussion, the number of female respondents reporting that a workplace designed by and for male advancement was the primary barrier to their own advancement was nearly double … [ Read more ]

Say It Loud

Could differences in how women and men articulate ambition early in their careers play a role in determining what opportunities come their way?