Women are seen as more risky candidates for promotion, according to a new study by Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women which urges Australian organisations to tackle their biases.
The report which was based on a survey of 4500 people in business, government and not-for-profit organisations, found that women are promoted more slowly than men and they are a third more likely than men to be told they need “more experience” to be ready for promotion, but are less likely than men to receive clear feedback on what they need to do to be ready for promotion.
The Bain-CEW report, Advancing women in Australia: eliminating bias in feedback and promotions, found that almost 60 per cent of men were promoted twice or more in the past five years compared with only 41 per cent of women. This gap in promotion rates increases with seniority.
Read more: http://www.afr.com/leadership/women-need-better-feedback-than-toughen-up-and-be-more-likeable-20170226-gulvur#ixzz4a8WrPoSl
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Key report findings:
The 2016 Bain & Company/CEW survey revealed three insights into what affects women’s prospects for promotion into the C-suite in Australia:
- Despite meritocracy creating signi cantly higher employee advocacy, Australian organisations are not perceived to be meritocratic by roughly half of all respondents; and women are even less positive.
- Substantial differences identified in feedback provided to women and men point to the perceived riskiness of female appointments. Women are told more frequently than men that they need to display “more confidence” and have “more experience” to be promoted.
- Even worse, the actions and specific development required to be ready for promotion are rarely made clear to employees. This is particularly true for women.
The survey responses help highlight a range of factors that affect the ability of Australian organisations to improve gender diversity in the workplace by raising questions about the gender neutrality of feedback and promotion decisions, particularly at senior levels. Our ndings also helped us clearly see the path towards addressing these issues and improving gender diversity and business outcomes. Organisations need to take four actions:
- Train managers to provide all employees with feedback that is speci c, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely and thoughtful so that women as well as men can learn about and address any performance issues in a timely fashion.
- Ensure that women and men have effective sponsors to support their career development and advocate on their behalf.
- Ensure that women and men have access to career-development opportunities and speci c roles in which they can gain the skills and experiences deemed necessary for promotion.
- Take speci c actions aimed at preventing bias in appointment and promotion decisions and processes.
Any organisation serious about its commitment to merit-based promotion and gender diversity must ensure these steps are undertaken.
Or install a Glass Elevator.
Get the full report here.