Fast Company

3051500-poster-1280-women-cautious-promotionWHY ARE WOMEN MORE CAUTIOUS ABOUT PROMOTIONS?
by Lydia Dishman / September 25, 2015

New research shows that women and men view promotions as equally attainable, but women often see the negative aspects of more responsibility.

According to a new study by researchers at Harvard Business School, there’s no gender gap when it comes to thinking that a promotion is within reach. But women are more likely than men to view the path to power as less desirable, as well as paved with potentially negative outcomes.

It’s no secret that women are still underrepresented in the C-suite and on executive boards. And women-owned companies make up just 36.2% of all nonfarm businesses, according to the most recent analysis of U.S. Census data by the National Women’s Business Council. Yet while strategies for achieving parity abound, researchers Francesca Gino, Caroline Ashley Wilmuth, and Alison Wood Brooks suggest that their findings point to a reason that women are failing to crack the glass ceiling.

To test just how women and men view professional advancement, the researchers analyzed the results of nine studies using such diverse sample populations as executives in high-power positions, recent graduates of a top MBA program, undergraduate students, and online panels of working adults. They surveyed over 4,000 participants in total.

Although the “arms race” is on to provide better parental leave policies, the reality is that most companies—including ones with numerous perks like Facebook—don’t offer child care, but do offer day care for dogs. According to a National Study of Employers, only 7% of companies offer onsite childcare nationwide.


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