Well it’s that time of year. I’m officially on vacation. This is the play hard portion of “work hard, play hard.” The blog will be quiet for a little over a week but fret not. When I return, I’ll be sharing some great images and tales of my adventures in Costa Rica. In the mean time, hold down the fort. You know the drill. Continue making power moves and we’ll catch up in a little bit.
A report from Bain and Company explores frontline managers and their impact on women’s career aspirations. What the study brings to light is that a significant number of women have nearly the same story. At the start of their careers women are ambitious and confident. As they progress and attempt to work their way towards the C-suite they gradually begin to lose confidence. What’s the confidence killer? Well, that can partially be blamed on the lack of women in upper management to serve as examples as well as working for direct supervisors who are of little help.
All that ambition you’ve got… it’ll last about 2 years.
The study shows that 43% of women aspire to top management when they are in the first two years of their position, compared with 34% of men at that stage. Wow, look at how ambitious we are. It’s not surprising that fresh out of school we are bright eyed and bushy tailed. We’re equally confident as men. We aim for top management and are ready to kick ass and take names to get there.
Over time, women’s aspiration levels drop more than 60% while men’s stay the same. Among experienced employees (those with two or more years of experience), 34% of men are still aiming for the top, while only 16% of women are.
To be frank, the “It’s not me. It’s you.” statement above isn’t completely fair. Understandably, sometimes this drop off occurs as women get older and start putting more emphasis on marrying and having children. What’s interesting is that the study’s findings suggest that marital and parental status do not significantly differ for women who aspire and women who don’t. The picture improves only slightly for more senior female employees.
As far as education, the population of women seeking higher education continues to grow. Currently, women account for more than half of all college graduates and are earning approximately 40% of all MBAs. Yet our numbers at the top of the corporate hierarchy remain abysmal. Women number only a slim 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 17% of board members.
For women the confidence gap is real and not simply because we don’t believe in ourselves. We don’t believe in our leadership or our companies to make this issue a top priority. Women, just don’t believe they have an equal opportunity to advance. There are three critical areas that help incite this feeling of inequity: a clash with the stereotype of the ideal worker, a lack of supervisory support and too few role models in senior-level positions.
To sum it up, too many women believe their supervisors don’t know where they are in their career aspirations, aren’t supportive or don’t know what to say or do to support them. The end result is a decrease in employee engagement and loyalty and missed opportunities to develop female talent (all bad for business if you ask me).
To read more on the study and suggested remedies click here
I've been in fight mode as of late. I'm in a place where everything is seemingly so much harder than it should be. What is a hop, skip and a jump for others is more like a climb up Mount Everest for me. I've been fighting and arming myself with all sorts of weapons for success and bettering myself with the training I believe I need so my victory is eminent. I believe it but sometimes I forget. I need little visual reminders like this to keep fighting. Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
I'm at it again with the menswear pieces. I love to see funky looks with women wearing suspenders but I kept it pretty simple this time opting for this chic black and white look, which is primarily white with a touch of black. It's a look that resembles something you might see a reporter wearing in an old school movie. I'm a writer so it seemed pretty appropriate, n’est-ce pas? A classic button-down, long sleeve shirt and white pants are given some smart personality with black suspenders which feature subtle silver finishes along with a black fedora. I'm ready to get the story.
- Shirt: H&M, White Long Sleeve Button Down
- Pants: The Limited, White Slacks
- Suspenders: Carter Room, Pinstriped Suspenders
- Shoes: Nine West, Nubuck Peep Toe Heels
- Fedora: Novelty store find
Sometimes you get a little sidetracked. In instances where setbacks, difficulties or doubts shift your focus try to remember what’s important. Try to remember what you’re working towards and get your eyes back on the prize. This is where I’m at today; Removing anything clouding my vision. I’m laser focused.