This week, McKinsey released their annual report of the state of women in the workplace. This report is a must-read for employees and leadership alike. If you haven’t taken the chance to read it, we strongly suggest you schedule some time on your calendar to do so!

At a high level the report uncovers that:

  • There’s a big difference in how men and women perceive inequality in the workplace. 63% of men believe that their company is doing what it takes to improve gender diversity. A majority of women disagree.
  • Fewer women are hired into entry level roles than men, despite accounting for 57 percent of all college graduates.
  • Women aren’t being promoted to manager at the same rate as men, leading to a narrowed funnel that impacts women’s progress all the way to the C-suite. This year, like last year, the biggest gender gap is at the first step up to manager: entry-level women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted than their male peers.
  • The workplace is especially difficult for minorities. Women of color face more obstacles and a steeper path to leadership, from receiving less support from managers to getting promoted more slowly. Despite facing more pitfalls to advancement, women of color have higher ambitions to be a top executive than white women.
  • Companies aren’t transparent with employees about diversity metrics. While 81 percent of companies say they share a majority of gender diversity metrics with senior leaders, only 23 percent share them with managers, and a mere 8 percent share them with all employees. Moreover, 43 percent of companies don’t share any metrics at all with employees.

Some key takeaways:

  • Complacency isn’t an option: Companies who want to reverse this trend must take deliberate action to address issues with their hiring and talent management practices. It’s abundantly clear from this report that without intervention, there will not be progress.
  • Top companies promote women: If you care about the performance of your company, diversity of your leadership team matters: Top- performing companies are promoting women and men to manager at almost the same rate.
  • Managers matter: To get the results they want, companies need to go beyond HR-led programs and enlist people managers in the process. Managers need to take a direct, hands-on role in developing the talent of future female leaders. Companies that do not place value on building mentorship relationships and career development suffer from lack of diversity.
  • If you treasure it, measure it: Companies should employ the same techniques that are used to measure marketing and financial performance with their talent development programs. Creating measurable goals and then following up on results is an important part of building a better culture for women and minorities.