Erik Osland created EvolvedMD because of personal experiences with his father and the medical system. EvolvedMD is radically changing the people who...
evolvedMD Reacts to McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2021 Report
The importance of women in American workplaces cannot be understated; the introduction of females in the workforce has been a major driver of American dominance and prosperity since the Industrial Revolution, through World War 2, and all the way to 2022 and beyond. Despite landmark progress in inclusion and support of women in work, a growing amount of evidence suggests that corporate America, whether intentional or not, is holding women back from reaching their full potential.
This is even more apparent in McKinsey & Company’s recently published Women in the Workplace 2021 report, the largest study on the state of women in corporate America.
evolvedMD knows that the future is female, especially given that our industry (behavioral health and social services) attracts more women than men. As an organization with an overwhelmingly majority-female roster, we understand how important the women of evolvedMD (as well as our partners) are to leading innovation to ultimately reimagine behavioral health in modern primary care.
2021’s McKinsey report is as shocking as it is dense, unnerving as it is comprehensive, and with so many surprising findings and insights, evolvedMD wanted to take the opportunity to highlight reactions to the data from the women directly impacted by the results.
Below you will find data points pulled from the Women in the Workplace report with commentary from the women on our team. In recognition of Women's History Month, we hope all leadership teams and key decision-makers glean critical insights below to ensure we're building the most dynamic, impactful workforce possible.
Women As Leaders
Sarah Hanchett, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services: “These stats really highlight some of the reasons that women are great leaders and managers of people. The level of support to teams and the promotion of employee well-being can be critical to success.”
Kim Ho, Director of Sales: “It’s reaffirming to see the women as leaders’ stats, particularly the one about senior-level women being twice as likely as senior-level men to spend substantial time on DEI efforts, more likely to be allies to women of color, and to promote employee wellbeing.”
- Women managers are taking more action to support their teams, from helping employees manage their workloads to checking in regularly on their overall well-being
- Senior-level women are twice as likely as senior-level men to spend substantial time on DEI work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities
- Women leaders are more likely to be allies to women of color. They are more likely to educate themselves about challenges women of color face at work, speak out against discrimination, and mentor or sponsor women of color.
- Women managers are consistently doing more to promote employee well-being
Sarah Hanchett, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services: “It saddens me that women get to the point that they feel the only answer to burnout is to leave the workforce. While this might be the best answer for some individuals, I would love to see more companies have real discussions about well-being, professional growth and promote true work/life balance. At evolvedMD, we have worked to incorporate these discussions into quarterly check-ins with our Behavioral Health Managers. This has helped us keep self-care and wellness at the forefront for our employees.”
Dr. Ruth Nutting, Director of Clinical Programs: “
, within , are experiencing creased symptoms of burnout 2021 compared to 2020 as current lack of a vibrant workforce is imposing creasingly more demands on m.”
“As lock-down measures have changed—schools have reopened, childcare is more accessible, have experienced decreasing burden fulfilling additional roles of educating and providing daily care to ir children. Now, are better able to fulfill ir professional roles wholeheartedly, which is leading to decreasing trend consideration of downshifting ir careers.”
Jaye Williams, Director of Operations: The prevalence of burnout, especially among women, has increased dramatically since the pandemic began. One of the largest contributors to this increase has been among mothers, “The pandemic has both laid bare the disproportionate burdens many women shoulder in caring for children or aging parents and highlighted the vital roles that have long played in America’s labor force.” (https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-lifestyle-health-careers-075d3b0ab89baffc5e2b9a80e11dcf34) As a mother to two young children, I’ve seen the struggle personally. With virtual schooling, school closures, exposure incidents, sick children, etc. the burden to be everything to everyone at home is something I have felt strongly. I am grateful to be here at evolvedMD where burnout is a continual discussion, where we are truly walking the walk. Creating environments that see a person as an individual with a personal life, not just a career, will be monumental for businesses as they seek to recover from the pandemic workforce shift, and bring more women back into the workforce.
- 42% of women say they have been often or almost always burned out in 2021, compared to 32% a year ago
- 1 in 3 women says they have considered downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce this year, compared to 1 in 4 who said this a few months into the pandemic.4
Sarah Hanchett, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services: “While our Leadership Team does not reflect these statistics, clearly there is so much work to be done. Both women and men in leadership positions, across all disciplines, need to be actively mentoring more women and especially women of color, to help develop our future leaders.”
Kim Ho, Director of Sales: “The latter two statistics were pretty alarming. What and where can we help to turn the tide in facilitating more opportunities so that drop off doesn’t occur, individually and organizationally?”
- Since 2016: women are promoted to manager at far lower rates than men
- Between entry level and C-suite, the representation of women of color drops off by more than 75 percent.
- Women of color account for only 4 % of C-suite leaders, a number that hasn’t moved significantly in the past three years.
Doris Huang, Director of Customer Success: When I was interviewing with evolvedMD, one fact that struck me is that I would be the third Asian woman on the company’s Leadership Team, which is extraordinary in two ways: one, because Asian women are so underrepresented in senior leadership (as the McKinsey report has found), and two, because unlike other geographic markets where I’ve worked previously (like Silicon Valley and New York City), Asians make up quite a small percentage of the overall population in the Phoenix metro area, where evolvedMD is based. None of this escaped my notice; in fact, it signaled to me that evolvedMD is serious about diversity in its employees and in its leadership and is truly “walking the talk.”
Charlene Wong, Director of People: “As an Asian American woman, I struggled with my identity and place in society. There have been moments when I have felt “too Asian” in America, despite being born here. I was sad and insecure as a child when I was one of only a few Asian-Americans at my school.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I experienced sudden moments of self-consciousness while in public. Our former President called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus”. There is a weariness that sets in when you walk out your door, a sense of being watched and scrutinized, and mistrusted.
My advice in response to racism is to build your identity and awareness of what it means to be yourself. For me, that means building community, self-compassion, and mindfulness. There is no right or wrong way to respond in the moment; it is very subjective. But the more you are centered in your own sense of self, the stronger you will feel, and the quicker your recovery.”
- Less likely than other groups of women to receive positive feedback on their leadership abilities – and are less likely to be seen and noticed as individuals.
- More than 1 in 6 say they are frequently mistaken for someone else of the same race – because of this, colleagues and managers may overlook their specific contributions
- Account for 1 in 15 women in entry-level roles but only 1 in 50 women in the C-suite
- “Double Onlys”—often both the only woman and the only Asian person in the room—are more likely to experience microaggressions, to feel that promotions aren’t based on objective criteria, and to be unhappy with their company.
- 1 in 4 Asian women has been personally impacted by racial trauma in the past year
Lydia Jones, LCSW, Training Manager: “I unfortunately have witnessed family members experience the overwhelming stress of being on “double duty” – or what I would personally call, “triple duty”, if we add balancing work stress to that list. Being cornered into a position of having to consider downshifting or leaving the workforce to care for family members, while probably adding financial stress as a result, makes me wonder how employers could be more supportive of similar situations. While I have witnessed and heard many of these stories play out within my extended family and friends, I am thankful to not have that experience myself. I feel fortunate enough to work for a company that I know would be supportive and flexible if I found myself in that situation. I’ve been with evolvedMD for 3.5 years not only because I believe in our mission and purpose, but also due to the emphasis we place on employees’ wellbeing.”
- Latinas are less likely to say they have the flexibility to take time off for family or personal reasons
- They are also less likely to be able to step away from work to deal with unexpected events.
- They are more likely to be responsible for all their family’s housework and caregiving
- 43% are currently spending five or more hours per day on housework and caregiving, compared to only 34 percent of women overall.
- Almost a third of Latinas are on “double duty”—caring for children and an adult, such as an elderly family member—which adds significantly to their workload. Double-duty caregivers are more likely than women overall to be burned out and to have considered downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce.
Dr. Christina Abby, DSW, LMSW, Clinical Programs Manager: “The statistics in the article are devastating. Unfortunately, they came as no surprise to me. As an African American woman, I have been on the receiving end of many microaggressions, as well as other forms of discrimination. The allyship gap is definitely one that needs to be filled. Being an “only” is a concept that I can also identify with. It often caused me to become the strong, silent type and let my work speak for itself so that I wouldn’t be perceived in the stereotypical ways such as being a “know it all”, “too aggressive”, or “difficult to get along with”, etc. The damaging part to that is that it causes you to be overlooked or ignored when attempting to actually make significant contributions to the team. I was able to find my voice after being encouraged by a mentor to unapologetically be who I am and to go after what I deserve. Her exact words are some that I’ll never forget:
“Dr. Christina, don’t settle. Ask for what you want and don’t be ashamed to do so. YOU won’t change, but people’s perception of you will. And that’s perfectly fine.”
Developing evolvedMD’s DEI initiatives have been helpful with being able to identify ways to accurately identify and address issues surrounding DEI. Having the authority to be one of the champions for DEI in this work environment gives me a sense of comfort in knowing that I am heard and seen and knowing that others are interested in making this work environment inclusive not just for women or women of color, but inclusive of all people. I can honestly say that this is the first time (in a work environment) that I’ve been asked about what I feel I deserve and given it without any hesitation.”
Dr. Ruth Nutting, Director of Clinical Programs: “Within
, re should be zero tolerance for microaggressions toward any woman. It is unacceptable that black are three to four times more likely to experience disrespect than white . re needs to be systemic change which all , regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion are accepted, appreciated, and valued.”
must collaborate itiatives that create, promote, and advance DEI. work of DEI should not fully fall within minority populations”.
- More than a quarter of Black women say their race has led to them missing out on an opportunity to advance.
- They experience more microaggressions than other groups of women
- Three to four times as likely as white women to be subjected to disrespectful and “othering” comments and behavior.
- Less likely to report that their managers check in on their well-being or help them balance priorities and deadlines.
- Far more likely than other employees to be coping with the impact of racism and racial trauma.
- More than 60 percent of Black women have been personally affected by racial trauma in the past year.
- Black women are twice as likely as women overall to say their company has not followed through on their commitments to racial equity
- Less than half of Black women feel that DEI is an important priority at their company.
- Black women are more likely than any other group of employees to spend a substantial amount of time on DEI work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities. They are more likely to speak out against bias and discrimination at work—and more likely to experience retaliation for doing so. And they are more likely than any other group of employees to step up as mentors and sponsors to other women of color.
- Many Black women say they do this work because they feel it wouldn’t get done otherwise—which speaks to the urgent need for employees with more privilege to show up as allies.
Women with Disabilities
Dr. Ruth Nutting, Director of Clinical Programs: “Executive leaders must demonstrate compassion, understanding, and respect for all regardless of disability. We must seek to look beyond disability, to ner strength, telligence, and expertise within se dividuals”.
- About 1 in 10 working women has a disability
- Women with disabilities are far more likely than women overall to be interrupted, to have their judgment questioned, and to hear that they are too angry or emotional
- Less than half of women with disabilities feel they have equal opportunity for advancement
- Almost a quarter say their disability has led to missing out on a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead
Lesbian and Bisexual Women
Dr. Ruth Nutting, Director of Clinical Programs: “ must be a safe environment for of all sexual orientations to freely speak about ir personal lives, share work/life challenges, and discuss ir experience of work-related burnout. Without open and honest discussion with all within , companies run risk of overlooking needed targets of tervention and heighten potential for creased attrition rates.”
- Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely than women overall to experience common microaggressions, including being interrupted or spoken over, having their judgment questioned, and being expected to speak on behalf of all people with their identity
- They are more likely to hear negative feedback related to how they present themselves at work, such as being told that they are too outspoken and confrontational.
- Almost half of lesbian and bisexual women feel as though they must be careful when talking about their personal lives in their workplace, and they are significantly more likely than women overall to feel uncomfortable sharing their work/life challenges or experience of burnout with colleagues
- More than half of lesbian and bisexual women say they consistently take a public stand to support gender and racial equity, compared to only a third of women overall.
- Lesbian and bisexual women are significantly more likely than women overall to advocate for new opportunities for women of color, publicly acknowledge them for their contributions, and speak out when they see bias and discrimination against women of color at work.
Sarah Hanchett, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services: “We must do more than just say the right things, use the right buzz words and “talk the talk”. Engaging in “proactive, sustained steps” is not easy but is necessary. Our workplaces must be safe places for all.”
- Although more than three quarters of white employees consider themselves allies to women of color at work, far fewer are consistently taking key allyship actions.
- Although white employees recognize that speaking out against discrimination is critical, they are less likely to recognize the importance of more proactive, sustained steps such as advocating for new opportunities for women of color and stepping up as mentors and sponsors.
How Companies Can Advance Diversity and Inclusion
Doris Huang, Director of Customer Success: “The question of how to balance work with family and personal life, particularly in light of hybrid and remote work models coming out of the pandemic, is certainly not the exclusive province of women. In fact, in order to achieve true equity in the workplace, it’s imperative that employers work with men and women alike to accommodate family and personal demands alongside professional demands. With that being said, employers should be sure to consult women when designing flexible work policies, as women still play predominant roles in caregiving responsibilities at home, and women also commit a great deal of energy and time to figuring out how to juggle multiple priorities all at once. The challenge is ensuring that in managing all these priorities, women (and men) don’t overlook the importance of taking time for self-care as well. That’s a key tenet of employee wellness at evolvedMD—we even predicate employee bonuses on meeting or exceeding self-care goals.”
Dr. Ruth Nutting, Director of Clinical Programs: “Companies need to continuously remind all employees, this cludes executive leadership, about healthy work-related boundaries. re are benefits to flexible scheduling, but employers need to continuously give permission to employees to maintain structure regarding work-related activities that often fall out of “working hours”—this can clude projects, assignments, and of course email.”
- Focus on two key priorities: 1) advancing all aspects of diversity and inclusion, and 2) addressing the increasing burnout that all employees—but particularly women—are experiencing.
- Gains since 2019 have been much greater in the C-suite than at lower levels, and they have benefited white women more than women of color.
- To drive sustainable progress for all women, companies need to take action to address two systemic weak points in the corporate pipeline: the “broken rung” in promotions and the sharp drops in representation of women of color at every level of advancement.
- First, companies should ensure they are applying the same best practices across both hiring and performance reviews. Companies are currently doing more to reduce bias in hiring—for example, almost two thirds of companies offer bias training focused on hiring, compared to less than half of companies that offer this for evaluators involved in performance reviews.
- Second, companies need to more fully track representation, as well as hiring and promotion outcomes. Although most companies track representation for women overall, far fewer do this for women of color, which means many companies are missing the critical visibility they need to make progress.
- Companies need to double down on accountability. Despite saying that gender and racial diversity are among their most important business priorities, only about two-thirds of companies hold senior leaders accountable for progress on diversity goals, and less than a third hold managers accountable.
- Moreover, among companies that hold senior leaders accountable, less than half factor progress on diversity metrics into performance reviews and far fewer provide financial incentives for meeting goals. Companies need to treat diversity as they would any business priority, and that includes tying progress toward goals to advancement and compensation.
- Making workplace more inclusive: HR leaders say two things are critical to driving progress: senior-level sponsorship and high employee engagement
- Senior leaders need to fully and publicly support DEI efforts. Employees need to understand the barriers faced by women, particularly women with traditionally marginalized identities, and the benefits of a more inclusive culture.
- Companies should clearly communicate what’s expected of employees and what it means to have an inclusive culture.
- The share of employees participating in anti-racism, unconscious bias, and DEI training has increased significantly in the past year. But only 34 percent of employees have participated in anti-racism training, and, notably, only 14 percent have received allyship training—which may explain the gap we see between employees identifying as allies and taking the actions that are most meaningful to women of color.
- Addressing burnout - Many companies are missing a crucial piece: without clear boundaries, flexible work can quickly turn into “always on” work. More than a third of employees feel like they need to be available for work 24/7, and almost half believe they need to work long hours to get ahead. Employees who feel this way are much more likely to be burned out and to consider leaving their companies.
- Only 1 in 5 employees says their company has told them they don’t need to respond to non-urgent requests outside of traditional work hours, and only 1 in 3 has received guidance around blocking off personal time on their calendars.
- Managers should focus their attention in three key areas: modeling work/life boundaries, ensuring that performance is evaluated based on results, and supporting employee well-being.
At evolvedMD, we believe our diverse team is vital to our ongoing success. A market leader in behavioral health integration, we have built an inclusive group of committed changemakers who bring experience from differing and dynamic backgrounds to achieve our audacious ambition.
For us, elevating diverse voices, especially voices of women, is not just talk – its engrained in our culture. With majority female management and leadership teams, each outstanding woman has made a monumental impact on our business in their respective roles and will continue to serve as invaluable resources as we rapidly expand our footprint nationwide.
With this piece, evolvedMD wanted to declare to all women: we stand by you and celebrate your numerous contributions to the workplace and beyond. We’re hopeful that by being proactive and taking the necessary actions, some of which are outlined in McKinsey & Company’s report, companies can help create a more diverse, inclusive, and dynamic workforce.
If you wish to participate in the 2022 Women in the Workplace study, you can sign up at womenintheworkplace.com.