Future of Work

Female leaders are twice as likely as their male counterparts to drive diversity, equity and inclusion at work, report finds

Women meeting in the workplace with a laptop and notepads

The report notes that 43% of female leaders are burned out. Image: Unsplash/Christina @ wocintechchat.com

Sarah Jackson
Research Psychologist, UCL
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Future of Work

  • Female leaders invest twice as much time as male bosses on driving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, according to a new report.
  • Yet 40% of women say this work isn't being acknowledged anywhere in their performance reviews.
  • Including metrics for people management and DEI work in performance reviews could help women be recognized for their efforts, and make them more likely to stay in their roles, the report finds.

Women are leading the charge for a more inclusive workplace, but they're not being recognized for that work.

Female leaders invest more time and energy in allyship and efforts for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or DEI, as well as effective people management, when compared to their male counterparts, but many workplaces don't have formal ways of evaluating and rewarding this work, according to a new report from McKinsey and LeanIn.org.

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The report found that female leaders are twice as likely as their male counterparts to contribute considerable time to DEI efforts, yet 40% of them say this work isn't acknowledged anywhere in their performance reviews.

The result is that female leaders can be stretched thinner than their male peers. The report notes that 43% of female leaders are burned out, compared to 31% of men at the same level.

Failing to recognize women's contributions to DEI in the workplace could also shut the door to the next generation of female leaders, for whom an inclusive workplace is a priority. Female leaders are more than 1.5 times as likely as male leaders to have left a previous job because they wanted to work somewhere with a greater commitment to DEI, the report found.

McKinsey and LeanIn.org say going beyond business goals to also include metrics for people management and DEI work in performance reviews could help women be recognized for that labor. This could in turn lead to faster promotions and better pay, which can aid retention of female leaders at a time when companies are losing them in droves.

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