Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis How do you solve a conflict between two parties if one of the parties does not believe there is a problem, or only recognizes it as a small issue, while the other party sees a large and continuing problem? This is no doubt the constant question posed by marriage counsellors.
At most companies, according to the McKinsey and Lean In study, women and men are represented roughly equally at the entry level, and they lobby for promotions at the same rate. But women are less likely to get those promotions.
SAP SE is one of the few companies to set a firm target for increasing the presence of women managers. Jenny Dearborn, chief learning officer at SAP, considers a big part of her mission to be equipping female employees with the skills they need to reach the management ranks.
Hanging above her desk in Palo Alto, Calif. For years, SAP employees attended one-day gender-awareness training sessions, in which there were presentations on brain chemistry and the science of gender dynamics. Employees rated the training highly.
But, she says, the sessions failed to address the factors holding women back at SAP—including few connections to senior executives and influential sponsors.
Succession plans included few women, and the same was true for shortlists that human-resources leaders assembled when big roles came open. Who Gets Promoted Men win the large majority of promotions, a gap that begins at entry level and widens over time.
Dearborn replaced the popular training session with a new program designed to help women make themselves more visible at the company. The initiative, the Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program, or LEAP, gathers high-performing women whom managers have identified as promotion-ready.
About women a year participate in the month virtual course. They meet online monthly to hear guest speakers. They receive homework and action assignments, such as making on-camera presentations. And by the end of the course, the women are expected to have expanded their networks and increased their appetites for taking risks.
The results so far are encouraging, SAP says. Many graduates have developed relationships with senior leaders who eventually become sponsors. Famed for its market research, the company keeps equally meticulous track of the number of years it takes men and women to attain promotions, their performance ratings and their compensation.
Detailed career-development plans for each employee identify which types of experience he or she needs, along with what their next job at the company could be, and sometimes their next two jobs.
When doling out assignments that could accelerate a career, HR leaders urge managers to ask a simple question: Interaction, access, visibility In addition to setting targets and looking hard at promotion policies, some companies and leaders are focused on the more subtle interactions in the workplace.
The McKinsey and Lean In researchers found, for example, that while both men and women recognize that face time with leaders and informal feedback are important to getting ahead, men get more such feedback and more chances to interact with top leadership.
Some big businesses have rolled out executive-shadow programs for women to help give them more access to top leadership and visibility within the company.
Companies that have launched shadow programs for women since include Adobe Systems Inc. At Amex, meanwhile, 30 high-potential U. One of those senior Amex executives is Controller and Executive Vice President Linda Zukauckas, 54, who manages more than 1, staffers in 35 countries.
The shadow program at Amex aims to dispel myths about what senior women must do to succeed, the executive says. Access to Top Leaders More men than women say they interact with senior leaders about their work at least once a week.
Zukauckas was shadowed in July by Allison Beer, an Amex vice president and year-old mother of toddler twin boys. Beer oversees 70 employees in two countries who manage travel partnerships with corporate customers.
Beer was impressed by how Ms. Zukauckas efficiently juggled tasks. On the day the two spent together, they attended six meetings mainly focused on corporate second-quarter earnings.And while labor participation rates for men actually dipped (to 82%)—and many women who work in the “informal” economy aren’t counted—the yawning male-female gap hasn’t been dented.
Women had the same number of contacts as men, they spent as much time with senior leadership, they had indistinguishable work patterns, and they scored equally in performance evaluations.
Data show that men win more promotions, more challenging assignments and more access to top leaders than women do. Men are more likely than women to feel confident they are en route to an executive role, and feel more strongly that their employer rewards merit.
Women, meanwhile, perceive a . Of the million women age 16 years and over in the U.S., 72 million, or percent, were labor force participants—working or looking for work. Women comprised 47 percent of the total U.S.
labor force. From the outset, fewer women than men are hired at the entry level. And at every subsequent step, the representation of women further declines.
Women of color are the most underrepresented group of all—behind white men, men of color, and white women. Women had the same number of contacts as men, they spent as much time with senior leadership, they had indistinguishable work patterns, and they scored equally in performance evaluations.