Well, if all the research and statistics are to be believed we women are a feeble bunch and hugely lacking in confidence! And that lack of confidence in our own abilities is a significant reason in our not applying for the top jobs!
Hmm, yes, confidence is an issue for many women in all areas of life, not least when it comes to grabbing those higher income and high status posts. That’s what the research tells us and that’s what we tell the researchers, apparently.
But I believe it cuts much deeper than that. I think we shy away (are kept away) from some of those top jobs because:
Three Reasons Women Are Not At The Top
1) We physically have children and society has still not organised itself in such a way that child care is valued (think how much child carers, usually women, get paid). It’s a rare organisation where women are not penalised in the career stakes if they reproduce. And that’s not to mention the other pressures coming to bear on women once they become mothers. I just did a quick mental trawl of the senior women I have worked with and I can think of only one who has children.
2) By and large the decisions as to who to promote are still made by men, de facto, as there aren’t many women in those top positions.There is a well researched bias that we tend to gravitate towards people like us. And appoint them…
3) The world of work has been designed by men and suits men well but it doesn’t really suit women. There is a strong gender bias operating. We are continually adapting, whether we realise it or not, and that leads to a feeling of dissonance, which in turn can erode our confidence in the workplace. Often we react by opting out (I know I did!) or setting up our own businesses. Maybe we are misinterpreting that feeling ‘at odds’ with the system as a lack of confidence in our own abilities?
What do you think?
Are you in a senior position?
How did you get there and how does it feel?
Have you held back from applying for a senior post and why?
What would help redress the balance do you think?
Please do share your views! Agree/disagree/don’t know/new insights!. I really look forward to hearing from you!
Posted on March 23rd, 2011 by Jane