Despite the many efforts by organizations to increase women in leadership roles, the gender gap persists. As part of our own efforts to close the gender gap at Bain and to help other organizations in doing so, we needed a better understanding of what was happening along the path to senior leadership and why fewer women were climbing to the top.
Bain has conducted a number of primary research studies over the past few years to better understand what is driving the gender gap in senior levels of organizations. In particular, our research has focused on what drives aspiration & confidence to pursue a senior leadership role, what external factors (at work and outside of it) are impacting women’s aspiration & confidence, and what organizations and front-line leaders in particular need to do to maintain and raise aspiration & confidence of women on their teams. Our most recent research in the U.S. was conducted in partnership with LinkedIn, based on a survey of 8400 LinkedIn members across all levels and industries, and provided insight into the specific actions that front-line managers need to take in building female talent into leaders. We have also done research in other markets, including Australia and South Africa in 2017, on topics related to gender parity at leadership levels of organizations.
We have applied our primary research within Bain, using it to inform dialogue and commitments with respect to ‘every day behaviors’ among our leadership team as well as specific trainings and programs within our Global Women’s Leadership Council. This has contributed to our steady increase of women represented on our leadership team. We have also shared the research with clients and other organizations to help shape their own efforts to increase women on their leadership teams.
Bain & Company is proud to join so many others in making the commitment to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. Creating a diverse and inclusive culture – one in which every individual can thrive – is critical to our organizations and our broader communities and one of Bain’s essential core values. I am excited by the opportunity to join my peers in sharing the energy, experiences and ideas to continually work to raise our game on this very important topic.