Written by: Christie Coplen, consultant, Spencer Stuart, and member of AutomotiveNEXT
We’re all familiar with the numbers. Study after study finds greater numbers of women “disappearing” at each successive level of most organizations. According to a study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, by the time women reach the SVP level, they hold just 20 percent of the line roles that are the most likely to lead to the C-Suite. That number dips to 16 percent for women in automotive and industrial manufacturing. Ethnic and racial minorities also are underrepresented at all levels of leadership. Research has found that of executives one to three levels below the CEO, only 8 percent were Asian males, and black and Hispanic leaders of both genders combined constituted less than 7 percent.
The sheer scale of systemic change required to make meaningful progress in diverse representation in leadership roles can seem overwhelming. A question I hear often is: “Where do we begin?” Here are some practical steps senior leaders and their organizations can take now to improve diversity and inclusion.