Latest Report Busts 4 Current Myths About State Of Women At Work

The latest 'Women in the Workplace' report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org is out. The report busts several myths prevailing in the corporate world about the work culture for women. Let's have a look at what the report says.

Nikita Gupta
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Women at work, Credit: Klara Cervenanska

Women at work, Credit: Klara Cervenanska

The latest 'Women in the Workplacereport from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org is out. The report busts several myths prevailing in the corporate world about the work culture for women. Let's have a look at what the report says.


1. More Ambitious Women

Busting the myth that women are becoming less ambitious, the report clarifies the feminine gender is more ambitious than before the pandemic, and flexibility is a significant driver of this ambition. Women across different career stages express a strong commitment to their careers and aspire to leadership roles.

Approximately 80% of women expressed a desire for career advancement to the next level, a notable increase from the 70% reported in 2019. This trend also applies to men. The availability of flexible work arrangements is empowering women to pursue their career aspirations. In general, one in every five women acknowledges that flexibility in their work has been instrumental in retaining their jobs and preventing them from reducing their working hours.

2. Glass Ceiling Or Broken Rung?

It is believed that the primary obstacle to women's career progression is the 'glass ceiling,' while in reality, according to the report, the most significant challenge for women on the path to senior leadership is the 'broken rung.'

The glass ceiling phenomenon implies that while individuals from underrepresented groups may rise to a certain level within an organization, they encounter increasing difficulties when attempting to reach top executive, managerial, or leadership positions. The broken rung represents the idea that many women and diverse employees often struggle to secure promotions and opportunities at the very beginning of their careers.


According to the reports, in the current year, for every 100 men who are promoted from entry-level to manager positions, only 87 women received promotions. Due to the gender gap in initial promotions, men ultimately make up 60 percent of managerial positions in a standard company, leaving women with only 40 percent representation.

3. Microaggressions

Microaggressions represent a type of daily discrimination that frequently stems from biases. These incidents encompass comments and behaviours, even subtle ones that may not seem overtly harmful, but they diminish or dismiss individuals based on their gender, race, or other aspects of their identity. 

According to the report, it is a myth that they don't have a huge impact on women. Years of data consistently demonstrate that women experience microaggressions at a much higher rate than men. They are twice as likely to be mistakenly perceived as junior and are more likely to hear comments about their emotional state. 

A total of 78 percent of women who encounter microaggressions in the workplace engage in self-protective measures, modifying their appearance or behaviour as a means of safeguarding themselves.

4. Flexible Workplace


It is considered that flexible work is primarily desired and advantageous for women, which is a huge myth.

In Reality, both men and women consider flexibility one of the top three employee benefits and a crucial factor for their company's success.

The majority of employees view the ability to work remotely and manage their schedules as top-tier company benefits, ranking second only to healthcare. Surprisingly, workplace flexibility surpasses well-established benefits like parental leave and childcare.

About 38 percent of mothers with young children express that, in the absence of workplace flexibility, they would have been compelled to depart from their current company or decrease their working hours. While approximately 83 percent of employees highlight that one of the main advantages of working remotely is the ability to work more effectively and productively.

Other Prevailing Myths

1. Myth: The gender pay gap doesn't exist anymore.


Reality: The gender pay gap still exists in many places, with women, on average, earning less than men for the same work. The size of the gap can vary by industry, location, and other factors.

2. Myth: Gender diversity is not linked to better business performance.

Reality: Numerous studies suggest that gender-diverse organizations tend to outperform those that are less diverse. Diverse teams bring different perspectives, which can lead to more innovative solutions and better decision-making.

3. Myth: Workplace harassment and discrimination are things of the past.

Reality: Workplace harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment, persist in various industries. These issues continue to be significant concerns for many working women.

4. Myth: Women can "have it all" in terms of work and family life.

Reality: Balancing work and family life can be challenging for women (and men), and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Societal expectations and workplace policies can make it difficult for women to balance their careers and personal lives.

Suggested Reading: Women's Rise In Blue-Collar Jobs & Boardrooms - 1 In 5 Board Members Now Female

Women In Workplace