Study Reveals Women Now Are More Ambitious Than Before Pandemic

According to ‘Women in the Workplace Report 2023’ from and McKinsey & Company, women are more ambitious than before the pandemic, and workplace flexibility may be helping women pursue their ambitions.

Kalyani Ganesan
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According to the largest study on the state of women in corporate America, Women in the Workplace Report 2023 from and McKinsey & Company, women are more ambitious than before the pandemic, and workplace flexibility may be helping women pursue their ambitions.

This year, we gathered data from 276 participating businesses that employ more than ten million people. We conducted surveys of more than 27,000 employees and 270 senior HR professionals at these companies, who provided feedback on their HR policies and practices. The report offers an intersectional examination of the prejudices and obstacles that specifically affect Asian, Black, Latina, LGBTQ+, and disabled women.

Women Are More Ambitious Than Before Pandemic

Rachel Thomas, co-founder and CEO of, stated that there have been several headlines that infer remote and hybrid work might be getting in the way of women’s ambitions. She expressed excitement that they have big data that tells the exact opposite.

“They’re more ambitious than they were before the pandemic. They're as ambitious as men. And flexibility is fuelling that ambition, not diminishing it,” she stated. According to last year’s Women in the Workplace report, women leaders were leaving in record numbers in what was called “The Great Breakup.”

However, this year’s report found that the number of women in the C-suite has increased to 28% at the same time that women’s labour force participation has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

Voice From Women


Echoing the same view, Anitha, a software professional who restarted her career after a brief break, said that the option of working from home has been a boon for her. "I left my job because my kids were young and needed me around. But with remote job options after the pandemic, it was very easy for me to find a job that allows me to follow my passion while looking after my kids."

Parameshwari, who had quit her job as she had to take care of her ailing mother, said, "Earlier, it used to be very difficult to find a remote job with good pay, but the scenario has drastically changed after the pandemic. I'm glad that now I get to pursue my career while taking care of my mother."

Vanya, a single mother who was forced to quit her job after marriage, restarted her career after separation. "It's just me and my kid now, and I'm happy that I can have a career while looking after him by myself. If not for the WFH option, I don't know how I would manage an IT career and a toddler," she said.


While this might sound like a step towards a progressive future, the study found that women of colour continue to be underrepresented at every level and make up only 6 percent of the C-suite.

For every 100 men promoted from entry-level to manager, only 87 women and 73 women of colour will be promoted in 2023.


Lareina Yee, co-author of the Women in the Workplace Report and senior partner at McKinsey & Company, said that women are promoted more slowly in the middle of the pipeline, and we know that the broken rung is the main driver of that.

Suggested Reading:Women Seek Promotions, But Men Are Favoured Over Them: Survey

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