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Flip the Script: 3 New Stats About Women at Work (And How to Use Them for an Edge)

3 new stats about a women at work and how to gain an edge

Once a year, global management consulting company McKinsey releases its annual report, “Women in the Workplace.” It’s full of interesting information about women in Corporate America, how we’re stacking up to our male counterparts, the struggles we face, and what employers can do to help.

As I was reading this year's report, I realized that re-framing 3 of the statistics can actually empower you to gain an edge at work.

Let’s zoom in on 3 of the statistics from this year’s report, why these 3 in particular matter to you, and what you can do to benefit from them.


That’s a fancy way of saying: across all levels of positions from entry-level roles to c-suite leadership positions, the percentage of women in each level has either remained the same or has slightly increased.

The bad news is that in not one category do we see a 50/50 representation with men. In other words, from entry-level to manager to senior manager/director to VP to SVP to C-Suite… in every category, women make up less than 50% meaning, more often men are hired for these positions instead of women.

We come close at the entry-level roles at 48%, but that percentage generally decreases as the titles grow (for example, in the c-suite, only 28% are women). So, all things considered, there’s improvement, but it’s still harder for women to hold any role in corporate, and that’s especially true for women of color.


According to McKinsey, “At every stage of the pipeline, women are as committed to their careers and as interested in being promoted as men. Women and men at the director level—when the C-suite is in closer view—are also equally interested in senior-leadership roles.”

“And young women are especially ambitious. Nine in ten women under the age of 30 want to be promoted to the next level, and three in four aspire to become senior leaders.”

The report cites, among other things, the flexibility brought by the pandemic as a key reason for this. As more women began working from home or working a hybrid schedule, splitting time between working in the office and at home, women saw a renewed increase in work/life balance and started feeling less burnt out, instead igniting a fire in their ambition and desire to move up the corporate ladder. 


It’s no longer the glass ceiling that is the largest barrier to women’s advancement on the path to senior leadership, but instead, something that’s now known as the ‘broken rung’.

The report states, “For the ninth consecutive year, women face their biggest hurdle at the first critical step up to manager” – so, the very first promotion, moving from entry-level to manager.

“This year, for every 100 men promoted from entry-level to manager, 87 women were promoted. And this gap is trending the wrong way for women of color: this year, 73 women of color were promoted to manager for every 100 men, down from 82 last year. As a result of this “broken rung,” women fall behind and can’t catch up.”


You might be thinking: “Alright, Jess, overall I’m not feeling very empowered by this information,” and, to be frank, I understand that sentiment. When I first read through the report, my initial reaction was to sigh, roll my eyes, and think, “I can’t believe this is still a thing.”

But, here’s where we’re flipping the script. That mindset, that mentality, that I just described: that’s a victim mindset. It strips you of your power and puts you in a negative place with a low vibration. Think about it: what good comes from sitting around and complaining that, “It’s not fair,” “It’s not right,” and, “This is 2024, how is this still happening?”

And, listen, I’m not invalidating your feelings because I feel the same way. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it is a shame that it’s still happening. But that doesn’t change the fact that this is the reality and us sitting around moping and complaining about it isn’t going to change that.

But do you know what can? Action.


Here’s what I think… if you want a certain job. If you want a promotion. If you want a raise. Remember: you can ONLY control yourself. Not your boss. Not your leadership team. Not your company. You cannot force any of them to hire more women or promote more women or to promote you or give you a raise.

But what you CAN do is show them why YOU deserve it. It won’t fix bias. That’s another hard pill to swallow. But I truly believe if you do everything you can that is within YOUR control to prove, again and again, that YOU are a hard worker, and that YOU deserve a promotion, and that YOU deserve a raise… eventually, someone in a position to do something about it will take notice, and you’ll get what you want.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy… in fact, the data suggests, if you’re a woman, and especially a woman of color – it’ll be harder for you. But that is the unfortunate reality of our world today and, to me, doing what you can within the confines of those limitations - THAT is what puts you back in a position of power.

Saying, “OK, you know what? I see that more men are being hired and promoted than women in corporate. And I see that among women we’re all getting more ambitious which means my competition for the role I want is even higher. And I see that the hardest promotion of all that I’ll face is that very first one from entry-level to manager. And KNOWING all of that makes me powerful because I now know that I need to be insanely intentional on proving, again and again, how I bring value to this company.”

Knowledge is power. Even if it’s knowledge that isn’t easy to swallow. Because knowledge allows you to get very, very strategic… then take action.


I did an episode on 5 Habits of Highly Successful People based largely on my observations of the CEO of one of the world’s largest real estate franchises, whom my husband and I befriended and spent time with regularly for ~2 years.

One of the most obvious habits I saw while observing him, as well as other successful people, is that they’re proactive. They do not avoid things they find difficult or inconvenient. They face them head-on, gather information, make a plan, and take action.

I encourage you to do the same with this information.


In my experience, one of the most powerful things you can do is to align yourself with your manager. Get clear on your manager’s goals, your goals, and how your goals tie back to your manager’s goals. And then make sure you’re speaking regularly about those goals and how you’re hitting them.

You can get the specifics on how to do this in Episode 39: The Anatomy of Your Quarterly Review (With Your Boss!).

If you don’t like your manager, then it may be time for you to find a different job, whether it’s in the same company or not. Again, I realize that may be hard to hear, but in my opinion, it’s the truth. I think it’s very hard to get a raise or promoted when you don’t like your direct manager, or they don’t like you.

Regardless of whether you want to stay put or you’re starting to think about leaving, I have very specific information on how to get a raise and get promoted inside my free resource, The Make More Money Starter Kit.

From a 6-point Checklist on how to prepare for your quarterly reviews, to 3 questions to help you decide to stay in your current role or try something new, to 44 power words for your resume, professional profiles, and reviews, this free resource is full of action items to get intentional about standing out at work and positioning yourself for advancement, even if the odds are stacked against you.

Regardless of what you decide for your next step, I encourage you to pick SOMETHING. Nothing changes without action and now that you have data-backed knowledge, you can get very strategic about your next move. Don’t forget to operate from a position of power and, even if success is harder to attain for you, remember: women are tough. And you can do hard things.




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