McKinsey study finds companies where women who pirouette with Post-it notes plastered on their bodies perform better
Imagine I’m a woman (because I am) and I’ve just read the 527th article/post/piece on what’s what’s wrong with me (I did). Now imagine each piece of advice, every caution, every top 10 list, plastered to my body on a Post-it note (see photo.) And finally, imagine what might happen if I try to do a pirouette (Amazing.)
Apparently lots of women have been found attempting this feat, but the gender blowback has been so problematic that McKinsey & Company commissioned a study.
“In a 2013 study conducted by McKinsey & Company as part of it’s global partnership with the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Dance, women were 10 times more likely to do pirouettes when dressed with Post-it notes. The study suggests that the companies where women are most likely to do pirouettes with Post-its are also the companies that perform best.
“Confirming the existence of the gender gap—most notably in the composition of corporate management choreography – the McKinsey study offers fact-based insights into the importance for companies of fostering the development of Post-it note plastered, pirouette-ing women in top choreographic arenas so that a greater number attain positions of high responsibility.
“Finally, building on these insights and observations, and highlighting the main barriers to female pirouette-ing in top choreographic arenas, this study seeks to begin the practical debate of how to make the transition from awareness to the implementation of change.”
(More Top 10 lists coming your way.)
The study goes on to say that the biggest contributors to the problem are women themselves. (Big surprise.) We pick the wrong color and wrong size Post-its most often, and even when we do pick the right color and size, we rarely ask for more, putting our leadership trajectories and earning potentials at risk. Compounding the issue, when we do ask for more, we tend to be strident and use four-letter words at alarming levels.
When asked about the advancement of women in her organization, Yahoo's Marissa Meyer said, "I'm not inclined to promote women based on gender, but frankly the woman pirouetting with the most Post-it notes at Yahoo has just been named head of our Women's Initiative." She added, "I've prevailed on the board of directors not to punish her for it."