While one’s gender should not come into play in trying to advance at work, it undoubtedly still does in a number of offices across the nation.
With that being the case, how can women who are more than qualified for a position get past the “old boy network” and move their way into better paying and fulfilling jobs? Despite the fact it is 2011; many women still find roadblocks in their way as they rightfully look to obtain better jobs when qualified.
Numbers Bear out Challenges for Women
According to a 2010 Harris Poll, more than six in 10 Americans believe the U.S. still has miles and miles to go to achieve complete gender equality, with more women (74 percent) than men (52 percent) believing this.
Even more Americans — seven in 10 — claim women often do not obtain the same pay as men for doing exactly the same job, though more women (80 percent) than men (58 percent) think that, according to the online survey of 2,227 adults.
Similarly, 62 percent of U.S. adults believe women are often discriminated against in being promoted for supervisory and executive jobs. Again, while two-thirds of women feel they are discriminated against, less than half of the men taking part in the survey (48 percent) agree with them.
Lastly, half of those surveyed indicate women often obtain lower pensions or pay more on annuities than men completing the same work; 23 percent disagree with this and 27 percent are not sure.
Making the Climb worth It
In order for women to successfully rise up the corporate ladder, they need to shun the stereotypes and put the proof where the pudding is, that they are just as qualified if not more than a man competing for the same promotion.
Standing in the way of women oftentimes, however, are stereotypes that have grown old and outdated. Among them are:
- Being too aggressive – In the eyes of many, if a woman is too aggressive, she comes off as being too difficult to deal with and not womanly;
- Not being aggressive enough – Some men who run companies may view women as not being aggressive enough to go after a promotion. In their eyes, the female employee may be a great worker, but she doesn’t quite have what it takes to climb the corporate steps;
- Being too emotional – While we rarely see a man cry in front of others, it happens more than many women would probably like to admit that emotions sometimes get the best of females in the workplace. Whether it is crying and/or getting upset in front of their boss or other co-workers, women oftentimes are unfairly viewed as not being tough enough to handle major responsibility at the highest levels;
- Dressing for success – How often have you come across individuals who think that the only way a woman can reach the top is to elicit favors from male co-workers? While there are some women who overdo it with the dress to impress approach and figure it may lead to some brownie points, most women who take the extra time to dress up for the office are doing it with no ulterior motives in place.
With more women looking to work their way up the corporate ladder in companies nationwide, hopefully some old stereotypes are put to rest.
At the end of the day, the most qualified person (male or female) should be the one taking a step forward on the corporate ladder.
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