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Inclusion Grows With Career Growth - but Not for Everyone

Inclusion Grows With Career Growth - but Not for Everyone

In America, men feel more included at work than women. This is what we found when we analyzed the experience of almost 5 million employees for our Women in the Workplace report.

In order to feel included at work, all employees need the ability to share what makes them unique, feel a sense of belonging with their co-workers and believe that people are treated equitably. 

When we looked at the numbers, we found that as their people management responsibilities increase, women feel more included at their workplace – but so do men at the same rate. In this manner, the gender gap remains the same, even between executive men and women.

Feeling included at work is not the same for all women.

When we took a closer look at how women of different races/ethnicities experience workplace inclusion, it’s a different picture. We found that feeling included at work still improves with an increase in managerial ranks – yet, not at equal rates.

Caucasian or White women feel the largest gain in inclusion as they have more people management responsibilities. Hispanic/Latino women feel the smallest gain in inclusion with more management responsibilities.

And although African American or Black women feel a sizable gain in inclusion at work, it is not enough – they feel the least included at work at every level of management.

How to take action today

Make time to listen. Seek out individual employees and ask questions about their experiences. If your only method to learn how your people are feeling relies on them coming to you, there might be entire groups of people you never hear from.

Be accessible. Culturally aware leaders interact with their people at every level. They mix with frontline staff at company events, do roadshows, have skip-level meetings and eat in the staff kitchen. They are humble. It's a matter of truly believing they are not the smartest person in the room.

Follow industry leaders.  Our Better podcast is a good place to start. Listen to the “How to Get Diversity Right” episode with Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor at Fortune who also writes the daily RaceAhead column.

Know the gaps. Get acquainted with research on women's experience in the workplace, with emphasis on intersectionality. Intersectionality looks at how a person belonging to more than one marginalized group faces multiple forms of oppression. Research reputable external sources, periodicals, publications and events.

Survey your employees. Get deep insights with employee engagement surveys such as our Trust Index Survey. Analyze the results to find out how intersectionality is showing up in your workplace. 

To learn more about how women experience the workplace, read our Women in the Workplace report.


Chandni Kazi