In an article in the Wall Street Journal related to the latest McKinsey/LeanIn.org study, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and the founder of LeanIn.org, gives her perspective on what is keeping women from advancing as leaders. One of her key points is that companies must make sure hiring and promotion policies are fair from the start.
The article cites these statistics to support that point: “As it stands now, women are disadvantaged from the beginning. It’s like they’re running a race and men are given a huge head start. At the entry level, when one might expect an equal number of men and women to be hired, men get 54% of jobs, while women get 46%. At the next step, the gap widens. Women are less likely to be hired and promoted into manager-level jobs; for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 79 women are. As a result, men end up holding 62% of manager positions, while women hold only 38%.”
The AWESOME Action Agenda suggests women leaders can make an impact as individuals by becoming more involved in the hiring and recruiting process at their organizations and making sure a diverse panel of candidates is considered.
Sheryl Sandberg is also featured in a video talking about the consequences of male backlash to the #MeToo movement, and what we can do about it. She cites research showing that many male leaders are now reluctant to meet with a female colleague alone. Sandberg suggests the goal should be equal access for everyone: If a male and female can’t meet alone, then two men shouldn’t meet alone either. She says, “It’s group lunches and dinners for everyone.”