McKinsey and LeanIn.Org once again partnered to publish the fourth installment of Women in the Workplace. This report draws data from 279 companies which employ over 13 million people. This year’s report finds that women remain underrepresented throughout all levels, particularly women of color. Though representation of women is higher at lower levels of organizations, attrition alone does not explain the exponential deficiency of women at management level and above. Accordingly, the report highlights that the hiring and promotion of women will be crucial to progress.

There are many factors that contribute to the lack of gender diversity in the workforce. This report highlights intentional and un-intentional sexism, racism and microaggressions as potential key influencers, with microaggressions being more commonly experienced by women of color and women who identify as LGBTQ. Furthermore, despite the fact that 98% of organizations have ‘no tolerance’ policies, the report found that sexual harassment has significantly impacted the workplace experiences of many women. One final factor that the report suggests is impacting the lack of gender diversity, is the social isolation caused by being the only woman on a team or at any given seniority level of an organization.

In order to move the needle on gender diversity, the Women in the Workplace report suggests that organizations:

  • Get the basics right—targets, reporting, and accountability.
  • Ensure that hiring and promotions are fair.
  • Make senior leaders and managers champions of diversity.
  • Foster an inclusive and respectful culture.
  • Make the ‘Only’ experience rare.
  • Offer employees the flexibility to fit work into their lives.

To read the full report, click here.