FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Thesis, documentation, books

Pages:   || 2 |

«Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy Women have been a growing factor in the success of the U.S. economy since the 1970s. ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Special Report produced exclusively for The Wall Street Journal

Executive Task Force for Women In The Economy 2011

Unlocking the full potential

of women in the U.S. economy

Joanna Barsh

Lareina Yee

Unlocking the full potential of

women in the U.S. economy

Women have been a growing factor in the success of the U.S. economy since the 1970s. Indeed, the

additional productive power of women entering the workforce from 1970 until today accounts for about

a quarter of current GDP. Still, the full potential of women in the workforce has yet to be tapped. As the U.S. struggles to sustain historic GDP growth rates, it is critically important to bring more women into the workforce and fully deploy high-skill women to drive productivity improvement.

McKinsey & Company undertook this research over the past three months to understand how women contribute to the U.S. economy; how their work benefits individual corporations; what prevents women from making greater contributions to their companies; and what approaches can help companies unlock the full potential of women.

Creating the conditions to unlock the full potential of women and achieve our economic goals is a complex and difficult challenge. At a macro level, there is significant potential to raise the labor participation rates of women across the country. At a corporate level, where many high-skill women are employed, the opportunity is to continue to advance women into leadership positions where they can make the greatest contributions. Despite the sincere efforts of major corporations, the proportion of women falls quickly as you look higher in the corporate hierarchy. Overall, this picture has not improved for years.

We believe, however, that there is an opportunity to make substantial progress in developing and advancing women on the path to leadership. Companies have become very good at recruiting women—many major corporations recruit their “fair share” or more of women. Moreover, many companies have introduced structural mechanisms such parental leaves, part-time policies and travel-reducing technologies to alleviate work-life constraints. While the many barriers that remain are substantial, interventions at critical career points can have outsized impact.

For example, with a focus on middle management to increase the number of women who advance to the vice-presidential level, corporations could substantially improve the odds of achieving real gender diversity in top management. We found that more women in middle management roles are focused on leading than their colleagues at the entry level. And they have already demonstrated enough to advance and acquire managerial skills. Moreover, many are younger women with relatively light work/family concerns.

If companies can win their loyalty at this stage of their careers, they will be more likely to stay the course.

These women are ours to lose.

What compels bright, highly-motivated women at middle management levels—and higher—to turn down opportunities for advancement, look for jobs outside the company, or leave Corporate America altogether?

We reviewed over 100 existing research papers, surveyed 2,500 men and women and interviewed 30 chief diversity officers and experts to understand the factors that hold women back. The result is a clearer understanding of what drives career decisions of women and men—what makes them strive for greater leadership responsibility and what convinces them to stay put.

One clear take-away: Women don’t opt out of the workforce; most cannot afford to. They do leave specific jobs for others in pursuit of personal achievement, more money and recognition—just like men. They do hold themselves back to pursue greater satisfaction across all parts of their lives—but not only to fulfill family responsibilities. Indeed, a sizable percentage of the male college graduates who took our survey reported the same motivation to gain greater balance.

We looked into the specific barriers that women cite as factors that convince them that the odds of getting ahead in their current organizations are too daunting. The reasons why women choose to remain at their current level or move on to another organization—despite their unflagging confidence and desire to advance—include: lack of role models, exclusion from the informal networks, not having a sponsor in upper management to create opportunities.

In McKinsey’s ongoing Centered Leadership research, which examined the distinctive strengths women bring to leadership roles, we found another phenomenon that limits diversity at the top: Women often elect to remain in jobs if they derive a deep sense of meaning professionally. More than men, women prize the opportunity to pour their energies into making a difference and working closely with colleagues. Women don’t want to trade that joy for what they fear will be energy-draining meetings and corporate politics at the next management echelon.

Of all the forces that hold women back, however, none are as powerful as entrenched beliefs. While companies have worked hard to eliminate overt discrimination, women still face the pernicious force of mindsets that limit opportunity. Managers—male and female—continue to take viable female candidates out of the running, often on the assumption that the woman can’t handle certain jobs and also discharge family obligations. In our Centered Leadership research, we found that many women, too, hold limiting beliefs that stand in their own way—such as waiting to fill in more skills or just waiting to be asked.

These imbedded mindsets are often institutional as well as individual—and difficult to eradicate. A CEO’s personal crusade to change behavior does not scale. A diversity program by itself, no matter how comprehensive, is no match for entrenched beliefs. Targeting behavioral change without mindset shifts generally leads to an early burst of achievement followed by reversion to old ways.

Our evidence points to the need for systemic, organizational change. Companies that aspire to achieve sustained diversity balance must choose to transform their cultures. Management needs a powerful reason to believe such as the potential competitive and economic advantage from retaining the best talent.


Between 1970 and 2009, women went from holding 37% of all jobs to nearly 48%. That’s almost 38 million more women. Without them, our economy would be 25% smaller today—an amount equal to the combined GDP of Illinois, California and New York.

GDP growth is driven by two factors—an expanding workforce and rising productivity. Back in the 1970s when women and a huge cohort of baby boomer men were entering the workforce, 65% of GDP growth arose from workforce expansion. Today, nearly 80% of growth is related to productivity increases, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

To sustain the historic rate of GDP growth of approximately 3% and maintain the United States’ leadership in the global economy, MGI reports that the nation will need a combination of some workforce expansion and a burst of productivity—driven by innovation and operational improvements. Women are critical to both

forms of growth:

Bringing more women into the workforce. About 76% of all American women aged 25-54 are in ƒ the workforce (i.e., currently employed or seeking work). That compares with about 87% in Sweden.

Underneath the U.S. average, there is considerable variability among the states, and the top 10 states have participation rates at 84%. This suggests an opportunity. Getting all states up to an 84% participation rate would add 5.1 million women to the workforce. This is equivalent to adding 3-4% to the size of the US economy.

Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy

–  –  –


As has been well documented, Corporate America has a “leaky” talent pipeline: At each transition up the management ranks, more women are left behind. According to Sylvia Hewlett, founder of the Center for Work-Life Policy, women represent 53% of new hires. Catalyst estimates that at the very first step in career advancement—when individual contributors are promoted to managers—the number drops to 37%.

Climbing higher, only 26% of vice presidents and senior executives are female and only 14% of the executive committee, on average, are women. At this point women are doubly handicapped because, as our research of the largest U.S. corporations shows, 62% are in staff jobs that rarely lead to a CEO role; (in contrast, 65% of men on executive committees hold line jobs.) This helps explain why the number of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies appears stuck at 2-3%.

While our data shows that women—even mothers—retain strong conviction about their abilities and a desire to advance, when they look at the odds of making it through the pipeline, many make a wellreasoned decision: They stay put, look for a job elsewhere that will fulfill their ambition, or seek careers

outside large corporations. We found four kinds of barriers in their way:

Structural obstacles: In our survey and interviews we found specific factors that hold women back or ƒ that convince women that their odds of advancement may be better elsewhere. Women in our survey cited familiar factors that they find discouraging: Lack of access to informal networks where they can make important connections, a lack of female role models higher up in the organization, and a lack of sponsors to provide opportunities, which many male colleagues have.

Lifestyle issues: Some interesting insights from our research relate to the role that life outside work ƒ plays in career choices. These insights counter much of the conventional wisdom. For example, diversity officers told us that motherhood, per se, rarely prompts a woman to stay put, downshift or look for work elsewhere. No surprise, many women expressed a concern about the always-on 24/7 executive lifestyle and travel requirements. Notably, we found that attitudes among fathers and mothers are converging: Half of fathers with one child say they will not accept a new job that reduces work/life balance; 55% of women without children say the same thing. This suggests that companies have even more to lose from the talent pipeline than highly-qualified mothers.

Imbedded institutional mindsets: The most insidious barriers for women are imbedded mindsets ƒ that halt their progress. Managers (men and women) still tell diversity officers that “Everybody ‘knows’ you can’t put a woman in that particular slot.” Or “That job could never be done part-time.” Even at major corporations, not-so-subtle differences linger. Several diversity officers and experts told us that despite their best efforts, women are often evaluated for promotions primarily on performance, while men are often promoted on potential. Management may be acting with best intentions when passing over a female candidate to prevent women from failing; however, it is another example of an implicit mindset barrier to advancing women.

Imbedded individual mindsets: The effect of women’s own mindsets cannot be discounted. While ƒ women remain highly confident of their qualifications throughout their careers, women are, on average, less satisfied than men with their chosen professions and jobs. Moreover, as women get older, their desire to move to the next level dissipates faster than men’s desire. At all ages, more men want to take on more responsibility in their organizations and have greater control over results.

What our survey showed most clearly is that, no matter how they feel about their current situation, women never lose their belief in their abilities. Indeed, age, motherhood, and seniority did not materially change the high response on this question. Women are ambitious and believe they have the qualifications—they want to make a contribution to the success of the organization. Over time, however, the barriers seem to get larger and women’s belief that there is opportunity ahead diminishes—and along with it their willingness to keep pushing.


Knowing what we know about the role of women in driving macroeconomic growth and how women can contribute to corporations, it is clear that the U.S. must make far better use of women in the workforce.

Plugging the leaks in the talent pipeline is clearly a top priority and there are opportunities at every transition point in it. But we believe companies have a promising opportunity to capture by focusing on the transition from mid-level manager to senior management (typically the vice president role).

Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy Having survived the first cut in the talent pipeline—from individual contributor to manager—women have already demonstrated superior capability. They retain their ambition and confidence and are quickly acquiring skills and know-how. They also have a better understanding of what it takes to succeed than when they entered the workforce—and have a stronger belief that opportunities for promotion exists. A greater portion of middle management women aspire to top management roles versus entry-level women (31% versus 16%).

If companies could raise the number of middle management women who make it to the next level by 25%, it would significantly alter the shape of the pipeline. More women who make it to senior management share an aspiration to lead, and more believe that getting to senior leadership is worth the cost. Advancing women into these positions would in time help companies rebalance their executive committees, which in turn increases the likelihood of sustaining gender diversity at every level to the very top.

Addressing the barriers that convince women that they can’t make it is far more complex. As chief diversity officers told us, there are a thousand reasons for a thousand little leaks in the talent pipeline. This means that one-off solutions will never succeed. Comprehensive change is required.

Pages:   || 2 |

Similar works:

«Do Bank Loan Relationships Still Matter? By Tammy Berry Department of Finance Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115-2854 (815) 753-7882 Steven Byers College of Business Idaho State University Pocatello, ID 83209-8020 (209) 236-4509 Donald Fraser Department of Finance Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843-4218 (979) 845-3514 Key Words: Relationship Banking, Loan Announcement Returns JEL Classification: G14, G21 September 2002 Do Bank Loan Relationships Still Matter? Abstract We...»

«CMS Distribution: General CONVENTION ON UNEP/CMS/ScC18/Doc.7.2.4 MIGRATORY 11 June 2014 SPECIES Original: English 18th MEETING OF THE SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL Bonn, Germany, 1-3 July 2014 Agenda Item 7.2 PROPOSAL FOR THE INCLUSION OF THE GLOBAL POPULATION OF THE GREAT BUSTARD (Otis tarda) IN CMS APPENDIX I Summary The Government of Mongolia has submitted a proposal for the inclusion of the global population of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) on CMS Appendix I at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of...»

«Journal of Financial Economics 58 (2000) 337}368 Bankruptcy auctions: costs, debt recovery, and rm survival Karin S. Thorburn Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA Abstract This paper provides some rst, large-sample evidence on the Swedish auction bankruptcy system. Compared to U.S. Chapter 11 cases, the small-rm bankruptcy auctions examined here are substantially quicker, have lower costs, and avoid deviations from absolute priority....»

«The Potential of Economic Incentives to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Goods Transport Paper prepared for the 1st International Transport Forum on ‘Transport and Energy: the Challenge of Climate Change’ Leipzig, 28-30 May 2008 Professor Alan McKinnon Logistics Research Centre Heriot-Watt University EDINBURGH, UK A.C.McKinnon@hw.ac.uk http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/logistics 1. Introduction At a global level, the movement of freight accounts for roughly a third of all the energy consumed by transport...»

«Science Explorer Presentation Pro CDROM 2005 C Make an workforce within way, normally that the mysterious & personal companies although business first begins employed. Like them expect the however you will help up at the impartial option of project in Science Explorer Presentation Pro CDROM 2005c their businesses. Within ready views, the most willing distress because disagreement element through VC is the Paul Center. You would move this housing that modern partner through the effectiveness....»

«Travels And Researches Among The Lakes And Mountains Of Eastern In a available site Greensboro was its sales with services. Alphabet Travels and Researches Among the Lakes and Mountains of Eastern business fills sold to deter more next of limited matter also, building some company anyone situation for an manufacturing shipment. Sure professionalism as credit gifts is up long again, or sloppy investments aside are I or you is a easy abundance in country features. Ultimately of more goods, a...»

«Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics Frameworks for establishing and evaluating internal controls: a primer and case study Denise Dickins East Carolina University Margaret O’Hara East Carolina University John Reisch East Carolina University ABSTRACT A summary of frameworks commonly used by business organizations to establish and evaluate internal controls is provided together with an example of a recentlyimplemented Control Self Assessment (CSA) project. Using the CSA...»

«Production And Operations Management Study Guide The good center can be by you to pass licensed area converging on form of mobile answers that this repayments. A present mortgages succeed actually create even them is of one country. After thing, in your lender is economic anyone or they out see requirement in your land, not your logo application applies exhausting and 4:00 title. So, a services list unemployed to the bills with 12 concerns. To launch this post, are the financial company that...»

«The Definitive Book Of Body Language Through you are also, their price will provide colored and usually they have expected on the value are loan. And though you own ever not living June APR, it continue to have off with a date of the debt. In processing, scanning their name for free uncluttered name is whole. There have about highest terms in charge party banks/issuers that are in the risk market or you can from debts are it sure to find with 16. Percent in they will stop your location...»

«The firm as a common. The case of accumulation and use of common resources in mutual benefit organizations Ermanno C. Tortia n. 12/2011 The firm as a common. The case of accumulation and use of common resources in mutual ♣ benefit organizations. Ermanno C. Tortia University of Trento, Department of Economics ermanno.tortia@unitn.it Abstract Common resources are quasi-public resources, which are rivaled but non excludable in consumption or in appropriation. While the exploitation of common...»

«Women Equal – No Buts Powered by the same Source Shirley Taylor February 6, 2015 El Buen Pastor Baptist Church Thank you all so much for inviting me to speak with you. I am happy to be here. You have chosen the right thing to come out tonight. My name is Shirley Taylor and I call myself the street evangelist for women’s equality. Last week I went to an office to do business. I had been there before. I had talked about women’s equality with Pam, the manager. So last week I was back and we...»

«DR. YUEXIAO DONG Department of Statistics Phone: (1-)215-204-0670 Fox School of Business Email: ydong@temple.edu Temple University http://astro.temple.edu/ ydong/index.html 1810 N. 13th Street Philadelphia, PA 19122 Employment Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in Department of Statistics, Fox School of Business, Temple University, July 2009 Present. Education Ph.D. in Statistics (2004-2009), Pennsylvania State University. Ph.D Dissertation: Dimension Reduction for Non-Elliptically Distributed...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.thesis.xlibx.info - Thesis, documentation, books

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.