Although companies have made progress in terms of gender diversity and representation, organizations still need to take concrete steps to prevent discrimination and promote equitable opportunities for women in the workplace.
IT HAS BEEN MANY YEARS since the AMC series Mad Men ruled the airwaves, giving us a glimpse back into the culture of the United States in the 1950s and '60s. The series depicted clear examples of gender bias in the workplace, from Peggy Olson's struggle to become a copywriter instead of a secretary in the first season to Joan Harris's fight for a slice of the partnership pie near the end of the series.
For those of us caught up in the glitz and glamour of the series, we could dismiss those struggles as "history"--not something that happens today. Yet the struggle for gender equality in the workplace is just as real today--if less overt--as it was then. Workplace gender discrimination still impacts the careers of women around the world, revealing itself via pay gaps, lack of representation in C-suite positions and on boards of directors, and now even in unemployment statistics.
A study published by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company also notes that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working women has been more significant relative to its impact on working men. This could reverse the progress seen in recent years in gender equality in the workplace (see Women in the Workplace 2020, bit.ly/3sTyerz).
In addition to those measurable outcomes, women are still facing sexual harassment in the workplace (as evidenced by the #MeToo movement) and fighting to be respected and heard in their professional roles.
The recently published study Diversifying U.S. Accounting Talent: A Critical Imperative to Achieve...