Women in the Workplace

Arcus surveyed 184 participating organizations employing more than half a million people. At these organizations, we surveyed over 2,300 employees and 104 senior HR leaders, who shared insights on their policies and practices.

State of the workforce

Over the past decade, women have made good strides in represetantion in some but not all sectors. One bright spot is in senior leadership. Since 2010, the number of women in the C-suite has increased from 12 to 31 percent, and the representation of women at the VP level has grown notably.

Some myths

There are four myths about women in the workforce that were identified in the survey:

Myth: Women are less flexible
Reality: Women have become far more ambitious—and their capacity to be flexible is driving that ambition.

The number of women who say being promoted is a priority has increased to 85 percent from 72 percent a decade back. A key attibute that is fuleing that expectation is the realization of the value that women bing to the workplace. Hybrid or remote work has been viewed as a great catalyzt for a more poductive female workforce. They report being more focussed and productive with the added fleixbility.

Myth: Women haven’t advanced because of a lack of opportunity
Reality: The greatest obstacle to senior leadership positions has been a lack of numbers in mid management postions

There is a lot more to be done. In sharp contrast, for every 100 men promoted from entry level to manager, 81 women are promoted. Because of parity across genders in lower management levels, men tend to dominate manager-level positions, while women occupy less than 38 percent of these positons. This imbalance results in more men in senior manageent positions.

Myth: Workplace discrimination isnt a major issue
Reality: Even small acts of discrimination have a lasting impact on women

Everyday discrimination is much more prevelent than is acknowledged in organziatoins today. They may take the form of subtle comments and actions that may not appear to be overtly harmful. But they communicate disrespect and have an adverse impact on the wellbeing of women. Surveys show that women are eight times more likely than men to be discriminated against because of race, religion or appearence. They are far more likely to quit their jobs because of these acts.

Myth: Flexibility is a top expectation only for women
Reality: Both men and women state that flexibility is a top five desired benefit

Working remotely and having greater say in schedules is highly desired, very close second to healthcare benefits. Workplace flexibility as a desied benefit is comparable to parental leave and childcare.

The transition of workplace flexibility as a crucial benefit has resulted in employers investing in remote work technologies and scheduling and workplace changes to increase employee statisfaction. This is especially pronounced for mothers with yioung children- 44 percent of who sam flexibility is a key consideration to stay or work fewer hours.

Implications for HR leaders

Better work–life balance has evolved into a primary benefit in teh form of hybrid and remote work. However, just 48 percent of HR leaders state that staff productivity is a key benefit of working remotely. And yet over 80 percent of employees cite the ability to work more efficiently and productively as a primary benefit of working remotely.

Service coverage

The variety, breadth, and depth of the projects where Arcus can be a resource are made unique by each client’s specific needs. By providing a very small sample of projects we’ve completed, we can help you understand how and when to use our services. Visit the links below to find out more about a specific problem or opportunity you would like to address.

Below is a sample of the range of services that Arcus has provided to clients.

  • A survey of 2,350 consumers and 1,320 business leaders for feedback on sustainability trends
  • Architecting a multi-year change strategy for a Fortune 500 company
  • Mentoring a CEO on organizational change
  • Excellence transformation of a leading B2B services company
  • Creating a new sales deployment model for a healthcare company
  • Developing a position evaluation and compensation model for a professional medical association   
  • Improving services to customer segments by deepening their understanding of customer attitudes