The introduction of this report re-states the business case for diversity, provides a round-up of gender diversity statistics for businesses across 13 nations as of 2013, and summarises the findings of the previous seven years of research in McKinsey & Company's Women Matter series.
This study of women surveyed 1,400 managers from various companies world-wide, finding that women in senior or mid-level management were as likely as men to aspire to roles at the senior executive level, but were less confident of success in achieving this. Comparing answers given by "confident" and "unconfident" respondents, the research concludes that collective factors were twice as influential as individual factors. Three major issues and barriers are identified: insufficient engagement from men, many of whom are unaware of the obstacles professional women face, and some of whom believe that gender diversity initiatives are unfair or harmful; a current "anywhere, anytime" performance model which penalises women; and prevailing leadership styles which hinder women reaching the top.
The paper reaffirms McKinsey's "ecosystem" of gender diversity measures, as outlined in the 2010 report, stressing that the shortcomings of corporate culture and mind-sets must be addressed through inclusiveness programmes, sponsoring and revised HR policies and practices.