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Seven Ways to Support and Increase Women in Leadership

The latest Women in the Workplace Report from McKinsey and Lean In paints a grim picture of the corporate pipeline for women in the workplace. Women continue to occupy an increasingly smaller number of seats the higher up the corporate ladder they go. This means that in many cases, women, particularly women of color, are the Only in spaces dominated mainly by white men.

We need increased visibility and support for women in leadership in order to increase their presence at all levels. Here are some ways to achieve these goals:

  • Evaluate performance reviews. Women are consistently held back through biased performance reviews. You can search for ‘gender bias in performance reviews, and many research articles will appear. Educating managers on how to mitigate bias in performance reviews is critical to promoting more women.
  • Address microaggressions and sexual harassment compassionately and inclusively. Microaggressions are still common for women in the workplace, and 55% of women in leadership positions report having been sexually harassed. Understandably, people would rather not work in an environment that allows this treatment. You must address these issues to retain your workforce and create more diversity in leadership positions.
  • Create a flexible work environment. If this new era of remote work has taught us anything, it’s that we can get plenty done without going to an office. Consider a mind shift toward trusting your employees to get work done instead of having butts in seats. 
  • Provide impactful learning opportunities for leadership and managers to understand better how power dynamics and bias can impact DEI efforts at their organizations – and how it starts at the leadership level.
  • Provide growth and stretch opportunities for emerging leaders.
  • Be a champion and sponsor for emerging leaders. Sponsorship is so much more powerful than mentorship in that you are advocating visibly for another person, whether they’re in the room or not. Consider giving up a speaking opportunity or a plum assignment offered to you.
  • Create support systems to understand and combat the double-bind impacting women in management and leadership roles. Educate people on the double-bind dilemma and offer workshops or courses to mitigate bias at work.

Looking for more ways to be an ally at work? Bring our Allyship in the Workplace Workshop to your company!