In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, Cary Cooper, a professor at Lancaster University Management School in Britain, states, “We’re on the cusp of a revolution. If organizations don’t allow more flexibility, more autonomy, they’re just going to keep losing (women).”
The article cites a 2014 study by McKinsey & Co. finding that companies whose leadership roles were most balanced between men and women were more likely to report financial returns above their national industry median.
The study also found that “companies with more balanced leadership do a better job recruiting and retaining talented workers, reducing the costs associated with replacing top executives. They also have stronger customer relations because management better reflects the diversity of society, and they tend to make better business decisions because a wider array of viewpoints is considered.”
A separate 2012 study by McKinsey concluded that “a woman’s prospects for promotion fall off at every step of the career ladder. While women made up 37 percent of the total workforce, they comprised 22 percent of middle managers, 14 percent of senior managers and vice presidents, 9 percent of executive committee members and 2 percent of CEOs.”
Companies have taken various approaches to addressing the imbalance, but according to the article, “many are struggling because of a failure to adapt workplace conditions in a way that ensures qualified women do not drop off the corporate ladder.”
“It’s not just about hours. Women often struggle with a male-dominated culture at executive levels, surveys show.”