In a recent blog post, Dr. Anne Litwin responded to eye-opening findings from and the McKinsey group.  The report found that 1 in 5 of the women they surveyed at 279 US companies consider themselves “Onlys” — meaning they are often the only woman in the room.

Half of those women say they must provide more evidence of their competence and are twice as likely to be mistaken for someone in a junior role.  They’re more often subjected to demeaning comments and are twice as likely to report being sexually harassed.  Yet, almost half say they still seek higher-level positions. Eighty percent want promotions.

Dr. Litwin points out that it’s important to understand the stress “onlys” deal with.  They can become mentally and physically exhausted, and even doubt themselves.  If you’re an “only,” or you feel similar pressures, Litwin strongly suggests finding a professional networking group or forming your own to get grounded and stay focused on your goals.