The gender gap in the business world has been an ongoing topic of importance, with the subject getting some real trajectory over the last couple of years. One of the women who has been in the forefront of the conversation is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Thanks to the popularity of her 2013 book, “Lean In,” and its subsequent movement challenging women and men alike to empower women in the workplace, Sandberg has become a go-to advocate for women in business.
Today she revealed that a comprehensive study showed women are light years away from leveling the playing field. Talking to her audience via Facebook, Sandberg wrote:
Today, Lean In and McKinsey & Company are releasing Women in the Workplace 2015, a comprehensive study of the state of women in the business world. Our analysis reveals that at the current pace of progress, we are more than one hundred years away from gender equality in the C-suite. If NASA launched a person into space today, she could soar past Mars, travel all the way to Pluto, and return to Earth ten times before women occupy half of C-suite offices. Yes, we’re that far away.
Companies can’t improve what they don’t measure. More than one hundred companies and nearly thirty thousand employees participated in the study, establishing benchmarks and goals and gathering data they can use to compare themselves with their peers. This study is part of a long-term partnership between Lean In and McKinsey to encourage female leadership and achieve gender equality in the workforce, and I want to thank Dominic Barton, Eric Kutcher, Lareina Yee, Alexis Kirkovich,Jocelene Kwan, Marie-Claude Nadeau and the McKinsey team for the time and passion they put into this project.
So what can you and I do to speed things up? One of the first resolutions the report proposes is sponsorship: “Sponsorship can accelerate career advancement, yet there is evidence that it is harder for women to gain the support of senior-level men. Companies can help by establishing formal mentorship and sponsorship programs and making it a badge of honor to support women in the organization. From networking events to group lunches, they can create opportunities for informal interaction between women and men—these personal connections can lead to the professional relationships that propel careers. Finally, company leaders can make sure they sponsor a diverse group of employees.”
All is not lost. Sandberg closed her post on a hopeful note.
“Change is never easy, but we can achieve great gains faster than anyone believes. We reached the Moon in eight years of concerted effort—not eighty. Let’s bring that same urgency to this mission,” Sandberg said.
Click here to read the report in its entirety. Continue the fight, Lionesses!
photo courtesy of wikipedia