And actually walking that walk can pay off, McKinsey & Company said. Inclusivity and a fair work culture result in better retention, more engaged employees, and, from the corporate perspective, lower turnover costs and the ability to manage productivity thanks to higher-performing employees. In other words, if you have more qualified and capable workers, they can multitask jobs—a key considering many restaurants are forced to ask more of people these days as employees per unit decrease thanks to higher wage rates, regulations, etc.
McKinsey & Company’s study showed more women are becoming senior leaders as a result of two trends. Firstly, more are being hired at the director level and higher than in past years. Secondly, senior-level women are promoted on average at a higher rate than men. Men are also proving more likely to leave companies at the SVP and C-suite levels, which is opening more positions for women.
This “broken rung,” however, is a labor target worth circling. For every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired, McKinsey & Company said.
It leaves more women stuck at the entry level, or crew/hourly distinction in foodservice. Men hold 62 percent of manager-level positions, while women helm just 38 percent.
“This early inequality has a long-term impact on the talent pipeline,” McKinsey & Company said. “Since men significantly outnumber women at the manager level, there are significantly fewer women to hire or promote to senior managers. The number of women decreases at every subsequent level. So even as hiring and promotion rates improve for women at senior levels, women as a whole can never catch up. There are simply too few women to advance.”
The math is compelling, too. If women were promoted and hired to first-level manager at the same rates as men, America would add a million more women to management over the next five years.
It’s a goal restaurants can jump on. McKinsey & Company said about a third of companies set targets for the representation of women at first-level management, compared to 41 percent for senior levels. “Given how important it is to fix the broken rung, companies would be well served by setting and publicizing a bold goal to grow the number of women at the manager level,” it said.
Some other tips include:
Require diverse slates for hiring and promotions. Data shows when two or more women are included on a slate, the likelihood that a woman will get the position rises dramatically.
Put evaluators through unconscious bias training. There is powerful evidence that this training works: In companies with smaller gender disparities in representation, half of employees received unconscious bias training in the past year, compared to only a quarter of employees in companies that aren’t making progress closing these gaps.
Establish clear evaluation criteria. This will help prevent bias from creeping into hiring and reviews. Evaluation tools that are easy to use and designed to gather objective, measurable input, like a rating scale in favor of an open-ended assessment.
Put more women in line for the step up to manager. To McKinsey & Company’s point: “It is critical that women get the experience they need to be ready for management roles, as well as opportunities to raise their profile so they get tapped for them.”
In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), On the Border’s CMO, Edithann Ramey, and its chief people officer, Diane Sanford, took some time to chat with FSR about their career roads, where the company is headed, and what it’s like to thrive in today’s industry as a woman.
Ramey came to OTB from Topgolf, where she served as senior director of brand extensions. Before, she clocked a decade at Brinker International’s Chili’s, including working as VP of marketing. Sanford clocked time at Day Star Restaurant Group as SVP of human resources before joining OTB in 2014. She also worked at Brinker in a variety of people-focused roles (Brinker purchased On The Border in 1994. It then signed a deal with OTB Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, to sell the brand in 2010 before Argonne Capital completed its purchase of On The Border in June 2014).