As a female professional with two young daughters, I’m always fascinated by research about women in the workplace.
In 2018, I wrote an article about women in business continuity management leadership roles.
I was curious about what has changed and stayed the same over the last five years.
Recent Information about Women in The Workforce
Every year since 2015, Lean In and McKinsey & Company have conducted a study to gain insights into diversity in the workplace. The 2022 Lean In study highlights that women comprise 48% of the workforce, but only 1 in 4 women are at the c-suite level. To have more women at the top levels of a company, we need to look at the problems in the pipeline. The study points out two main issues: the “broken rung” and the rate at which women leaders leave companies.
The study also found that there is still the “broken rung keeping women back from advancing. This means that for every 100 men being promoted to manager, there are only 87 women are promoted.
I had not heard of “broken rung” before, but I knew exactly what it meant. The term “broken rung” refers to a broken step in the career advancement ladder within the corporate world. With fewer women getting promoted early on, they get trapped in lower-level positions.
The study shows that for every woman promoted to director, two women leave the company. They found that women are leaving their companies at a higher rate than women. Many women switch jobs for better opportunities, but some want to downshift or leave the workforce altogether. Women leaders are more to report burnout and are more likely to switch jobs because of unmanageable workloads. Part of this burnout comes from the fact that the study also showed that as women move up in their careers, women continue to do half of the household work and childcare.
In contrast, as men move up in their careers, they do less household work.
Women in Technology
The picture is even more dire if we look at the statistics from a technology industry standpoint. According to a Zippia Study, Women hold 44% of the STEM degree but makeup only 28% of the technology workforce. Women hold fewer than 20% of the technology leadership roles.
The “broken rung” is evident when you look at female representation in technology jobs. Female representation is highest for junior jobs. It drops for mid-level jobs and then drops again for senior-level jobs.
A surprising trend I found while researching was the pandemic’s impact on women in technology. A study by Trust Radius showed that women in technology were twice as likely to be furloughed or lose their job during the pandemic. It’s estimated that 5 million women lost their jobs since February 2020.
A study by WomenTech Network showed that during the 2022 tech layoff, 69.2% of those laid off were women. These studies show a disproportionate impact of layoff on women in technology. The Zippia study shows that women in Technology also experience burnout. Not only do women in technology take on more at home, but since the pandemic they are taking more on at work.
Women in Business Continuity Management
Finding updated information specific to women in business continuity management was hard.
The leading United States-based business continuity certification boy, Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), still needs to update its research from 2017 on Women in Business Continuity Management. They do have a Women in Business Continuity Committee, which was created to help forge solid networks and assist women in advancing in their careers
The United Kingdom-based Business Continuity Institute (BCI) still needs to complete research in the area of Women in the field but it did from the Women in Resilience Group in 2019. This group represents 30% of the BCI members. It was formed to empower women and provide a forum for discussion among women in the field.
I believe the formation of both women’s groups shows a desire to, at the very least, get women together to talk.
I was hoping for an updated conclusion with this updated information, but the conclusion is the same.
Women still experience both conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace. As the technology industry continues to boom, women must be a strategic piece to every workplace. Companies must strive to provide equal pay and opportunities.
Women should seek out a mentor. There are mentoring opportunities specific to Business Continuity and you can request a mentor from Women’s DRII group. A mentor can provide support and guidance as you advance in your career. They can also increase your confidence and industry knowledge.
In conclusion, the lack of women in business continuity management roles is not unique to the business continuity profession. A recent study from CIO Online Magazine Article states that the lack of females in senior roles contributes to the lack of females applying for technology roles – perpetuating the issue Also, the bias that women face in the workplace is not unique to the profession. Companies need to provide fair compensation and growth opportunities for their female employees.
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