McKinsey checks status of women’s advancement; vows to improve

September 27, 20182 minute read

A recent blog on McKinsey’s newsletter “Shortlist” assesses what kinds of results are being achieved by the drive to make workplaces more diverse.

From the starting point of McKinsey’s 2015 report establishing the correlation between gender diversity and a company’s bottom line, new information finds that gaps still exist in companies tapping into the full potential of women’s leadership.

Examples given include the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. tech sector, North American financial services, and throughout corporate America, where, according to McKinsey research, “women remain underrepresented at every level, despite earning more college degrees than men for 30 years and counting.”

McKinsey’s new global managing partner, Kevin Sneader, has made diversity a top priority, declaring “We won’t rest until 51 percent of the people who join our firm are female. We won’t rest until we have female representation in our partnership that’s at least above 40 percent.”

Here are more excerpts from the McKinsey newsletter, which is distributed by email subscription:

“Our recent study of Asia–Pacific, arguably the most dynamic economic region in the world, found that advancing women’s equality could add $4.5 trillion to its collective annual GDP in 2025, a 12 percent increase over the business-as-usual trajectory.”

“And in corporate America, women remain underrepresented at every level, despite earning more college degrees than men for 30 years and counting. That is especially problematic in line roles—typically revenue-generating positions that act as incubators of future CEOs—versus staff positions. Many companies also overlook the realities of women of color, who typically face the greatest obstacles with the least support.”

“Women are chronically underrepresented in the US tech sector, and the trend is headed in the wrong direction. The percentage of computing roles women hold has largely declined over the past 25 years. And tech companies’ recent public struggles on gender-related issues have demonstrated there are real, immediate costs that result from a lack of inclusion and diversity—lost stock value, lower market share, and higher HR and public-relations costs, among other problems.”

“The reality is the same in North American financial services, where women account for over half of the entry-level workforce, but less than 20 percent of the financial-services C-suite, according to new research conducted by McKinsey and LeanIn.Org. This is despite strong support for gender diversity among firms we’ve surveyed.”

Many of the insights highlighted in the blog come from McKinsey and’s 2017 report “Women in the Workplace.”