How Empathy and Competence Promote a Diverse Leadership Culture

Meaningful diversity and inclusion actions are now seen as mandatory for new generations entering the workforce.1 But the effectiveness of current measures in the finance sector falls short of these expectations. The 2021 Women in the Workplace study conducted by McKinsey and found that women in North America remain dramatically underrepresented in financial services.2 In particular, women are still promoted at lower rates than men at every step of the leadership ladder, and these differences are exacerbated for Black, Asian, and Latina women. Well-intentioned efforts focusing on recruitment, quotas, and compliance are not enough to achieve the next stage in gender equality. Prevailing workplace narratives that emphasize the constraints that separate men and women also hold back progress. If we endlessly highlight that women have had lower levels of labor market attachment, women will continue to be viewed as riskier hires for leadership roles. Meaningful change requires a culture shift — a dedicated effort to equalize opportunities so that all employees can thrive, regardless of gender. 

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