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United Way Blog

Women In the Workplace: Where Are We Now?

For decades, women have faced unprecedented hurdles when it comes to advancement in the workplace, but the last few years there has been modest momentum with the help of diversitym equity & inclusion (DEI) efforts and an increase in women in leadership roles. 

The Women United Global Leadership Council recently hosted a virtual conversation with Alexis Krivkovich, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and co-author of the annual Women in the Workplace report. She discussed with our Women United audience the findings from the 2021 Women In the Workplace report. One of the big themes coming out of 2021 was the need for allyship. We revisited that theme earlier this year with an allyship training for Women United members and staff. The 2022 Women in the Workplace report released recently highlights a different area of concern, leadership. 

The 2022 report revealed that women in leadership positions are “switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen—and at higher rates than men in leadership.” This could spell negative repercussions for the representation of the next generation of women who are looking to climb the corporate ladder. Many young women in the workforce are taking notice of current leaders leaving leadership roles “and are prepared to do the same.” Currently, “for every 100 men who are promoted from entry-level roles to manager positions, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted.”

Why are women leaving leadership roles? According to the study, women have downshifted their careers or left the workforce altogether to help take care of their children. Others are feeling overworked and seeking a different company culture. 

Unfortunately, women leaving leadership roles could result in negative repercussions for women currently in the workforce and for those who may join in the future. These negative repercussions are felt even more so by women of color. 

Companies also stand to lose out when women leave leadership positions. When women are represented in leadership positions, profits and share performance can be close to 50% higher. Businesses looking to retain a diverse group of talent at all rungs of the corporate ladder will need to put safeguards in place to ensure sustainable workloads, flexibility, and continued efforts to combat gender-bias.

The Women United Global Leadership Council is committed to advancing gender equity inside and outside of the workplace. To join the discussion, attend a future event, or get connected with other members of Women United visit or join our LinkedIn group.