Many women wonder why they may not be advancing as quickly as they wish in work, or why some of the men simply ignore their ideas. A recent study by Europe’s Institute of Leadership and Management has suggested that it may not simply be gender inequality that is causing this dynamic, but a lack of confidence displayed by women in the workplace.
Another study by McKinsey & Co has “proven a positive correlation between a company’s performance and the proportion of women serving on its executive board.
The report, Women Matter, found that companies with the highest level of gender diversity in top management posts outperform their sector in terms of return on equity, operating results and stock price growth.” So with it making fiscal and political sense for companies to promote women to the top of the work force, other studies were formed which delved deeper into the issues behind the lack of women’s advancement and found some very interesting statistics.
– 73% of women mangers believe that there are barriers preventing them from progressing to the top levels – the glass ceiling
– 20% of men will apply for a role despite only partially meeting its criteria, compared to 14% of women
– 41% of women surveyed are childless, compared to 28% of men
– 70% of men have high or quite high levels of self-confidence comparedto 50% of women
– Half of women managers admit to feelings of self-doubt, while only 31% of men do
– 50% vs 62% of women to men expected to become managers when they started their career.
The results of this study say a lot about how women view their place in the workforce and that it is definitely something that could hold them back. So how do you counter it?
Don’t be so timid: The fact that so many women will not take risks and apply for jobs they currently do not have 100% skillset for is very career limiting. Sometimes it is as simple as putting yourself in the ring. You can’t be hired if you don’t apply for the position. It may feel scary to put yourself out there and apply or even ask for a raise or new projects at work, but it is the only way to move forward.
Speak up: People are more likely to remember you for projects, promotions, etc if you make yourself heard. It can be difficult to time your responses and nerve wracking to speak up in a room full of peers and seniors but a good, insightful comment can get you noticed and can help you progress
This also stands the test when talking about the things you have done. Most women won’t tell others of what they have achieved as they believe that this makes them seem arrogant or selfish. However, others will never think to ask you what you’ve accomplished in the work place so to get noticed you need to tell the world what you have done.
If you look at the behavior patterns of high level men in companies they display the traits outlined in this article. Give some of these changes a shot and you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome and the confidence you start to feel in yourself and achievements.