Women in the Workplace: Statistical Imbalances That Must Be Acknowledged

By: Brandi Rardon, Senior Manager, Application Support, and Carla Bettens, Vice President, Marketing and Communications


MDT’s Women in Leadership Community focuses on investing in each other and themselves while promoting the advancement of all women in the workplace.  It is important to have women in leadership to allow for a variety of perspectives. According to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey & Company, and LeanIn.Org, “women are as ambitious as men, but at many companies, they face headwinds that signal it will be harder to advance.” Women are also known to be more inclusive and empathetic leaders. And, they want to work for companies that are prioritizing the cultural changes that are improving work: flexibility, employee well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Did you know, that according to Zippia, women represent 58.4% of the US workforce as of September 2022 but only held 35% of senior leadership positions, compared to men, who represent 65% of all leadership positions? Or 23% of executives around the world are women? Alternatively, 29% of senior management, 37% of managers, 42% of professional roles, and 47% of support staff positions are held by women? What about 32% of women in technical and engineering roles are often the only woman in the room at work? 8.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women of color?

Despite modest gains in representation over the last eight years, women—and especially women of color—are still dramatically underrepresented in corporate America. And this is especially true in senior leadership: only one in four C-suite leaders is a woman, and only one in 20 is a woman of color.

Recent studies show the pipeline by gender and race, published by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org in October 2022.

For every 100 men who are promoted from entry-level to manager, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted. As a result, men significantly outnumber women at the manager level, and women can never catch up. There are simply too few women to promote to senior leadership positions.

While record-breaking improvements have been made in female leadership, the magnitude of these developments shows that there’s much more work to be done before the playing field is leveled. Companies that rise to the challenge will attract and retain women leaders—and this will lead to a better workplace for everyone. They’ll win the war for talent today and in the future.