Since 2007, McKinsey has been researching intensively the advancement of women in the workplace. The business benefits are clear: a wider, deeper swath of talent to solve problems, spark innovation, and, in many cases, mirror a company’s own customer base.
- McKinsey developed four metrics that can serve as hallmarks of a truly gender-diverse company. They include a starting position that reflects individual talent; the number of women at the top of the organization; odds of promotion equivalent to men; and the mix of women in line roles versus staff roles (Exhibit).
- Of the companies whose talent pipelines we reviewed, only 12 met three out of the four measures for success. None fulfilled all four.
- Among the highest-achieving companies, two archetypes of talent pipelines emerged: “fat” funnel companies, which started with a remarkably high number of women (well over 50 percent in their pipelines) and then moved a still-impressive amount of women (in some cases up to 40 percent) into senior roles; and “steady” pipelines, companies that started with a smaller mix of women early on but retained them as they progressed through the pipeline.
- Interviews with some 200 successful women yielded intriguing insights: despite their career success, 59 percent of women said they did not aspire to the C-suite.