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Where women see bias, men see a ‘pipeline’ problem

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NEW YORK – Gender parity at work is still decades away, if it ever comes at all. Why? Part of the problem is that men and women look at the same world and see different things.

Almost half of men (44 percent) say women would be “well represented” at their company if just one in 10 senior leaders were female. Only 22 percent of women agree with that. These findings come from McKinsey and LeanIn.org, via their annual report on women in the workplace, based on a survey of 65,800 people at 329 companies.

And this is actually an improvement, says Alexis Krivkovich, a senior partner at McKinsey’s San Francisco office. In previous years, an even larger share of men thought women were well represented in company leadership — even when company-specific data showed that wasn’t true. And men today are more likely to say gender diversity is a “high personal priority” than they were in 2015.

Yet to the extent that men are becoming more aware that the gender gap at the top is a problem, they still disagree with women about what’s causing it. Men are most likely to say the trouble is “too few qualified women in the pipeline.”

Women point to different causes. Forty percent say women are judged by different standards. (Only 14 percent of men see it that way.) Nineteen percent of women correctly perceive that junior women are less likely than junior men to get that first promotion into management. (Only 7 percent of men see that.) And 32 percent of women say women lack sponsors to champion their work. (Only 12 percent of men agree.)

This last problem is especially troubling for two reasons: First, the scarcity of sponsors for women has been linked with stalled careers in study after study. And second, the men who........

© The Japan Times