Women are still underrepresented at every corporate level in the U.S. and are often criticised as “too aggressive” when negotiating, according to the Women in the Workplace 2016 report.
The major study, conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co., was released on Tuesday and based on a survey of 132 companies employing more than 4.6 million people across corporate America. Its findings indicate that women are less likely to end up on the path to senior leadership than their male colleagues. Furthermore, the results from the survey show that this disparity is especially pronounced for women of color.
The study also shows that women negotiate for promotions and pay raises as often as men do, but are 30% more likely than men who negotiate to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy”. Despite lobbying for promotions at similar rates, women are on average less likely to be promoted than men. The report also details a “Road Map to Gender Equality” with a series of policy suggestions for companies to address issues highlighted by the survey’s results.
In article for the Wall Street Journal, Sheryl Sandberg, founder of LeanIn.Org, said “We expect men to be assertive, look out for themselves, and lobby for more—so there’s little downside when they do it. But women must be communal and collaborative, nurturing and giving, focused on the team and not themselves, lest they be viewed as self-absorbed. So when a woman advocates for herself, people often see her unfavourably. This report is a reminder, yet again, of how much is left to do.”