The 2021 Women in the Workplace report released by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co. noted that women hired into entry-level positions begin to lose ground at the very first promotion, she said. There’s gender parity at the entry level, but with the first promotion, the gap begins to widen.
There are fewer moving up at each stage “to the point where we have only five women CEOs” in Michigan, Barclay said.
“That’s where I think the pandemic comes in … the pandemic’s impact is hollowing out the talent pipeline.”
The Women in the Workplace report found that women in corporate America are more burned out in 2021 than they were in 2020 and increasingly more so than men in corporate America, Barclay said.
“That is part of what is contributing to the ‘Great Resignation.'”
What gets measured gets addressed, Barclay said. “Those that are monitoring their metrics are really better equipped to address them,” she said.
Companies are looking for ways to keep talent engaged at work, she said, including providing the flexibility that families and women, in particular, need to respond to shifting education and childcare needs, as well as the “hunting and gathering challenges of survival” needed to provision households during the pandemic.
Companies that have continued to invest in staff development and learning are seeing good results in retention, Barclay said.
“If employees can see and feel in measurable ways that they are valued … it gives them a sense not only that they are valued but that the company has confidence in their ability to progress.”