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How to Address Workplace Gender Bias

A new study finds women are often cut off early from the management pipeline

Good news first: There's been some genuine traction in efforts to help women gain access to the C-suite. According to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey & Company and, 28 percent of U.S. corporate C-suite roles are occupied by women, an 11-point jump from 2015, when the organizations began their annual survey.

Okay, that's more like good–ish news; 28 percent isn't anyone's idea of parity, and the percentage of women of color in those top roles is still abysmal, at 6 percent. Still, it's progress. What stands in the way of better, faster progress?

According to the report, much of the problem has to do with what’s going on at the other end of the employer spectrum. Too often, women encounter a “broken rung” that prevents them from being promoted beyond entry-level or low-level managerial positions. And even reaching those levels can require more effort for women than men, the report says: “Women are often hired and promoted based on past accomplishments, while men are hired and promoted based on future potential.”

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