Women in the Workplace: Corporate America is at a Critical Crossroads

A crisis is looming in corporate America

The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted corporate America in ways we’ve never seen before. No one is experiencing business as usual, but women—especially mothers, senior-level women and Black women—have faced distinct challenges. One in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce due to Covid-19.

This year’s report makes one thing clear: Corporate America is at a critical crossroads. Without bold steps, we could erase all the progress we’ve made toward gender diversity in the six years of this study. But if companies rise to the moment, we can lay the foundation for a more flexible and equitable workplace in the long-term.

Women in the Workplace is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. In 2015, McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org launched the study to help companies advance diversity in the workplace. Between 2015 and 2019, close to 600 companies took part in the study, and more than a quarter of a million people were surveyed on their workplace experiences. Now, in 2020, women in corporate America are facing a new challenge: the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s report focuses on how the pandemic has affected women at work, including the unique impact on women of different races and ethnicities, working mothers, women in senior leadership, and women with disabilities. It also looks at the emotional impact of incidents of racial violence in this country on employees. Finally, it tracks the changes we’ve seen in women’s representation over the past six years, and assesses how Covid-19 could disrupt those trends going forward.

Read the full report for a framework for taking action.

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