A new report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. states that women have been kept from the top jobs in the corporate world as a result of a lack of support and coaching. The report makes interesting reading.
The McKinsey report states that “to crack the upper echelons of corporate America, companies must groom a deeper bench of female middle managers for advancement. By increasing the number of women who make it from middle management t the vice presidential level, corporations could vastly improve the odds for building diversity in top management.”
Although this report primarily discusses corporate America, the picture is not dissimilar her in the UK. I agree hole-heartedly with Joanna Barsh, a McKinsey Senior Partner, who co-wrote the report when she states that “companies need to spend more time coaching women and offering more leadership training and rotation through various management roles before their ambitions sours.
Coaching for men in the corporate world happens without much thought. If a younger member of staff is identified as having potential he is paired with a more senior manager and introduced to other individuals how can support his development, as well as invited to sit in on meetings and discussion. Thirdly there is ‘old boys’ network through which this younger or more inexperienced member of team learns and shares information.
This happens sometimes long before the individuals is given a role of responsibility. By the time this happens this individual has learnt (picked up) the necessary information skills and know-how and building relationships to enable him to work more effectively at a higher level.
This does not seem to happen at all for women. Whether this is a gender issue and men feel uncomfortable having gender in their midst or something else. The point is that organisations and in our case UK PLC are missing out on a wealth of knowledge, skills and abilities, but not doing more to open the doors and opportunities for women.
The McKinsey report found that companies are not “systematically watching these women at the middle management level and putting in programmes that would help them develop and get over the next [promotion] hurdle.”
Read the piece from the Wall Street Journey by Louise Radnofsky and Joann S. Lublin at
This year marks 100 years of International Women’s Day and 40 years of the Equal Pay Act. Unfortunately it seems that we can fight to bring freedom and equality to other Countries, but there are still things in the Western world that we refuse to change i.e. equality and diversity to women in our businesses, community and nation.