From the gender pay gap to the disparity of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, it’s widely acknowledged that companies need to do more to reach pay parity and equal visibility in leadership. Those efforts are increasingly under the microscope in the post-#MeToo world.
The business world is trying to close the gap, as Dame Vivian Hunt, managing partner of McKinsey and Company U.K. and Ireland, noted Tuesday. Speaking during a panel at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit in Toronto, she said: “You look at the Fortune 500, there’s almost no company that hasn’t declared gender, more diverse goals, inclusive culture as an active part of their culture.” But she added, there are two key things these companies need to keep pushing.
“The first is that pyramid—hiring enough women at all different roles, but you have the participation rates,” Hunt said. “Tracking it, stretch targets, and managing it like you’d manage your [profit and loss]. I can’t say it any more simply than that.”
Hunt’s second step addresses promotions. “Whether its the first promotion or the promotion to the executive suite, those are two most difficult points for women,” Hunt explained. Indeed, a 2018 report from McKinsey and Company found that women are less likely to be promoted than male counterparts. For every 100 men promoted to manager, just 79 women were.
Hunt said that she believes male leaders “mean it 100%” when they say they want to see more gender parity and equity throughout the workplace. But “actually delivering requires making systematic changes.” Time will tell if companies are up to the task.
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—Tune in to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women international summit through Sept. 17
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