Improving Gender Diversity for All

Women have made some gains in Corporate America. In fact, the percentage of women in the C-suite increased by 5 percent between 2016 and 2021, according to the study Women in the Workplace 2021, conducted by McKinsey and Yet the percentage of women of color still lags behind that of white women and men of color in every managerial and leadership role, according to the study, which is based on research from 423 companies and surveys of more than 65,000 employees from 88 companies.

How can the workplace become friendlier for women of color? Allies can make a difference, but the study found that women of color and white women don’t always see eye to eye on how allies can be of most help.

Women of color believed the most meaningful action allies could take was “advocating for new opportunities for women of color.” However, among white women, the most meaningful action cited was working to confront discrimination against women of color if and when they see it. Women of color also placed a higher level of importance on being mentored or sponsored by workplace allies.

If the goal is to create an inclusive and equitable environment for all, here is how allyship can help, as viewed through different lenses. (The data represents the percentage of women who believe advocating for new opportunities for women of color is a meaningful action.)

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