Let’s rethink the advice we are giving women to advance in the workplace

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Erika Lucas

The adage that “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good,” is sadly true in the workplace.

For decades, we’ve been telling women that to succeed at work and business, they must work hard(er), toughen up, and become one of the guys. Here is the problem: it hasn’t worked. Not at scale. 

Women are still grossly underrepresented in leadership positions, despite accounting for 50% of the workforce. The result is productivity loss because reaching gender equity in the workplace is not about checking a box; it’s about profitability. 

S&P Global found that firms with women in the C-Suite realized a 20% increase in stock price momentum, a 6% increase in profitability and 8% larger stock returns. Women are also more likely to embrace employee-friendly policies and programs to champion racial and gender diversity. According to a study by McKinsey & Co., more than 50% of women consistently take a public stand for gender and racial equity at work, compared to about 40% of men.

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