Women Offered Fewer Career Advancing “Hot Jobs” Than Men

November 15, 2012 by Susan Gunelius
Statistics, Facts & Research

business race women and men in office

According to research from Catalyst, women get fewer of the high visibility, mission-critical roles and international experiences (i.e., “hot jobs”) that are necessary to get ahead at global companies.

The Catalyst report, Good Intentions, Imperfect Execution? Women Get Fewer of the Hot Jobs Needed to Advance, suggests that this unequal access to those “hot jobs” may be an underlying cause of the senior-level gender gap in business.

The research also found that completing formal training programs is far less likely to lead to career advancement than on-the-job experience. Among those who have completed training programs, men are still more likely than women to get access to “hot jobs.”

Some of the highlights from the Catalyst study include:

  • 62% of respondents to the study said high-profile assignments that gave them leadership experience had the greatest impact on their careers. Just 10% said formal training programs are most impactful.
  • Men lead projects with bigger budgets (more than twice the size of women’s), larger teams (more than three times as many staff), that posed higher risk to the company (30% of men vs. 22% of women), and had more C-suite visibility (35% of men vs. 26% of women) than women.
  • Men have roles with more critical responsibility for profit and loss (56% of men vs. 46% of women), management of direct reports (77% of men vs. 70% of women), and budgets over $10 million (30% of men vs. 22% of women) than women.
  • Women get fewer international assignments (which are often predictive of advancements) than men, but it’s not because they’re unwilling to relocate. Of those most willing to relocate, more men than women got those assignments (35% vs. 26%), and more women than men were never offered the opportunity (64% vs. 55%).
  • More men than women got “hot jobs” after being in formal leadership development programs, and more men were promoted within a year of program completion (51% of men vs. 37% of women) than women.

Catalyst President & CEO Ilene H. Lang explains, “[Having] access to the ‘hot jobs’ and to senior-level sponsors with clout to create that access can make a dramatic difference in closing the persistent gender gap.”

You can follow the link to access the full report from Catalyst.

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics. She holds an MBA in Management and Strategy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

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