Business success should be available for everyone. Whether a business is a small shop or a large and growing one, success should be attainable if strategies are executed correctly.
However, this is just an ideal and a simplistic way to look at how businesses actually work. In countries like Australia, where gender diversity in the workplace has only become more apparent recently, not all women leaders are given equal chances of driving business success. It was just recently when companies started to recognize women’s capabilities and started to become more proactive in nurturing women employees.
Even if the change is just beginning, Australian companies are slowly seeing the effects of giving opportunities to women business leaders. There are businesses that have been successful thanks to the skill and drive of women leaders. But did you know about the challenges women leaders faced to reach that success? Here are three key challenges.
1. The Narrow Road to Getting into the C-Suite
If climbing up the corporate ladder is already difficult for men, how much more difficult would it be for women? The answer is it’s very challenging because in the past, it wasn’t enough to have the talent to go up the ranks. The fact that you were a woman was already enough reason to make top management doubt your capabilities.
Also, as you approach the C-suite, you’ll notice that the jobs that serve as a stepping stone to the top positions are mostly occupied by men. Women, on the other hand, traditionally held more service-oriented jobs in HR and customer service.
2. A Huge Salary Gap
There’s also no denying that there is a huge salary gap between men and women. Among the roadblocks women face in the workplace, the salary gap is one of the most prevalent issues especially for women of color. White women already face a salary gap, and this gap is widened when the women are of a different race.
3. Work-Life Balance
One of the more common roadblocks women business leaders face is related to work-life balance. Since there is a good number of women that are also moms, the question of choosing between career or children has always been present.
One of the reasons why this is still an issue is because there is still a stigma that women, when they become mothers, are expected to stay home and care for the child while the father becomes the breadwinner. However, this is starting to change. Nowadays, more fathers are entertaining the possibility of being homemakers while their wives run businesses and earn the paychecks.
Women all over the world experience a lot of roadblocks to business success, but the times are changing, and a lot of them are learning to stand up for themselves to overcome these roadblock. At the same time, more and more countries and organizations are being vocal when it comes to having diversity in the workplace.
However, there is still a long way to go as not all companies are making the necessary changes to have fairer salaries for both men and women, plus enough opportunities where women can climb up the corporate ladder. If your company finds it hard to take this leap, you can contact a trusted business mentor for help.
About the Author
Jennifer Dane is a business coach and owner of Business Tempo, a business consulting company in Adelaide, Australia. She helps and mentors a lot of small to medium business owners to grow their businesses.