Women leaders want to move forward, but they face stronger headwinds than men. Female managers are just as likely to seek promotion and aspire to senior positions as men. However, many companies witness microaggressions that undermine their authority and make it difficult for them to move forward.
For example, they are much more likely than male managers to have co-workers who indicate that they are not good at their jobs. And female leaders are twice as likely as male leaders to be mistaken for someone inferior.
Female managers are also more likely to report that certain characteristics, such as their gender or ancestry, contributed to them being denied or delayed for promotion, creation or chance to get ahead.
Female leaders are maligned and under-recognized. Compared to men, female managers do more to support employee well-being and promote DEI, work that significantly improves employee retention and satisfaction, but which is not formally awarded in most companies.
40 percent of female executives say their DEI’s work is not recognized in performance reviews. Spending time and energy on work that is not respected can make it difficult for women leaders to advance. This also means that women managers are thinner as managers than men; Not surprisingly, 43 percent of female leaders are burned out, compared to just 31 per cent of men in their positions.
Female managers are looking for a different work culture. Women managers are significantly more likely than men to leave because they want more flexibility or want to work for a company that is still wedded to employee welfare and DEI.
And in the last two years, these factors have become more important only for female managers, who are more than 1.5 times more likely than these men to leave their previous job because they wanted to work in their spouse’s company for DEI.
Indeed, the factors that drive current female executives to leave their companies are more important for the next generation of female executives. Young women look deeply at opportunities for success – more than two-thirds of women under the age of 30 want to become top managers.
Young women are also more likely than current managers to say they increasingly prioritize inflexibility and the company’s commitment to well-being and DEI. Companies that do not act may struggle to attract and retain the next generation of female leaders.
Many women experience prejudice not only because of their gender, but also because of their race, sexual orientation, disability or another identity, and the complicated line can be much less than the sum of its corridors.
As a result, these groups of women often experience more microaggressions and face more barriers to advancement. In particular, women of colour are more ambitious despite receiving less support, with 41 per cent of women of colour aspiring to become CEOs, compared to 27 percent of white women.
Companies and subsidiaries must engage with this dynamic so that they can more effectively advance the equality and advancement of all women.