Women in the Workplace


On March 8 – International Women’s Day – most nations celebrate their women, yet some commentators are inclined to believe that little is done to further the feminist cause and that making one day a year all about women while the remaining 364 are about men is not enough. Problems that women encounter at the workplace abound and range from sexual harassment and mobbing to unfair hiring and dismissal policies, glass ceiling, as well as trouble reentering the workforce after maternity. A recent study examined how female workers are poorly represented, percentage wise, at various steps of the corporate ladder. Despite some improvement, though, the corporate world is still prevalently male dominated.


Women remain grossly underrepresented across all sorts of organizations — especially at senior levels of leadership. From entry level to the C-suite, women are in the minority at US corporations, less likely to advance than men, and face more barriers to senior leadership. The fact is that at the current rate of progress of the past three years, it will take more than 100 years for the upper reaches of US corporations to achieve gender parity.


Below are the principal findings of Women in the Workplace, a study undertaken by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey to encourage female leadership and gender equality in the workforce. Some 118 companies and nearly 30,000 employees participated in the study, building on a similar effort conducted by McKinsey in 2012. The new study revealed that even though modest improvements have been made, the general findings were similar: women remain underrepresented at every level of the corporate pipeline, i.e. from entrylevel positions, with the disparity being greatest at senior levels of leadership.


Women in the Workplace found that for numerous reasons, women are simply less likely than men to advance: they experience an uneven playing field, with their odds of advancement lower at every level; there is a persistent leadership gap in the most senior roles; gender diversity is not widely believed to be a priority; and while employee programs designed to help balance work and family are abundant, participation is low among both sexes due to concerns that using them will adversely affect their careers.


Adapted from www.mckinsey.com


Exercise 1
Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) however: __________
2) to promote sth: __________
3) to face sth, to be confronted with sth: __________
4) being a mother: __________
5) research: __________
6) the most important senior executives at a company: __________
7) the most important: __________
8) being the same: __________
9) almost: ___________
10)a difference: __________
11)not very impressive: __________
12)to do research: _________


Exercise 2
Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) to be inclined                     underrepresented
2) sexual                                  ladder
3) unfair                                  a study
4) glass                                    to believe sth
5) to reenter                           parity
6) the corporate                    ceiling
7) to remain                           harassment
8) gender                                pipeline
9) to undertake                     the workforce
10)the corporate                   dismissal


Exercsie 3
Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) sprawa feministyczna
2) pozostała
3) obfitować w coś
4) polityka
5) zbadać coś
6) procentowo
7) przeważnie
8) w obecnym tempie
9) wyniki
10)siła robocza
11)bazować na czymś
12)najniższe stanowisko


Grammar corner…

In the text you could find at least several words that don’t as much carry meaning, but rather modify the meaning of the words near them. They included: simply, widely and prevalently (which more or less mean generally), adversely (negatively), modest (not impressive), especially (particularly), poorly (not well) or grossly (way too much).

Using such words indicates that you’ve reached a higher level of English.


Exercise 4
Choose the best option.

1. Living next to a nuclear power plant must have adversely / poorly affectedtheir health.
2. He isn’t modestly / especially talented, but he makes up for it with hard work.
3. Poorly / grossly managed companies are likely to fail at some point.
4. The forecasts were grossly / simply exaggerated, which lead to a market crash.
5. You simply / especially can’t ignore the ruling of the constitutional tribunal!



yet – jednak
to further sth – przyczyniać się do postępu
to encounter sth – zetknąć się z czymś / stawić czemuś czoła
maternity – macierzyństwo
a study – badanie
the C-suite – kadra zarządzająca najwyższego szczebla
principal – główny
equality – równość
a disparity – rozbieżność
modest – skromny
to conduct research – prowadzić badanie
to be inclined to believe sth – wykazywać tendencje do myślenia w określony sposób
sexual harassment – molestowanie seksualne
unfair dismissal – nieuzasadnione rozwiązanie stosunku pracy
glass ceiling – szklany sufit
to reenter the workforce – ponownie rozpocząć zatrudnienie
the corporate ladder – ścieżka kariery w korporacji
to remain underrepresented – pozostawać w mniejszości
gender parity – równość płci
to undertake a study – przeprowadzić badanie
the feminist cause – sprawa feministyczna
pozostała – remaining
to abound – obfitować w coś
a policy – polityka
to examine sth – zbadać coś
percentage wise – procentowo
prevalently – przeważnie
at the current rate – w obecnym tempie
findings – wyniki
workforce – siła robocza
to build on sth – bazować na czymś
an entry-level position – najniższe stanowisko
to make up for sth – nadrabiać czymś
a forecast – prognoza
a ruling – orzeczenie
the corporate pipeline – ścieżka kariery w korporacji


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Ex. 1
1) yet
2) to further sth
3) to encounter sth
4) maternity
5) a study
6) the C-suite
7) principal
8) equality
9) nearly
10)a disparity
12)to conduct research

Ex. 2
1) to be inclined to believe sth
2) sexual harassment
3) unfair dismissal
4) glass ceiling
5) to reenter the workforce
6) the corporate ladder
7) to remain underrepresented
8) gender parity
9) to undertake a study
10)the corporate pipeline

Ex. 3
1) the feminist cause
2) remaining
3) to abound
4) a policy
5) to examine sth
6) percentage wise
7) prevalently
8) at the current rate
9) findings
11)to build on sth
12) an entry-level position

Ex. 4
1) adversely
2) especially
3) Poorly
4) grossly
5) simply