Why do so many working moms' careers stall out when they hit middle management? Disagreement over the answer has often sparked hot debate。
There are actually many right answers, and most of them emerged in new research and discussion last week at The Wall Street Journal conference on Women in the Economy. Working on the premise that engaging women more fully in the workforce worldwide would spark leaps in innovation and productivity, McKinsey & Co. presented a study showing that women's share of corporate jobs is 53% at the entry level, but falls to 14% at the executive-committee level. Here is a sampling of the reasons that emerged in the study, and in conference discussions: Everett Collection。
女性在中层管理层上面临的障碍是什么？事实上，这个问题有很多正确答案。上周《华尔街日报》主办的“商界女性”(Women in the Economy)论坛中，新的研究和与会嘉宾的探讨也给出了其中很多答案。麦肯锡公司(McKinsey & Co。)发布了一项研究，以全世界女性更充分地参与到工作中来能够促进创新和生产力的飞跃为前提，研究表明，在入门级公司职位里，女性占据的比例为53%；但到了执行委员会这样的高层职位里，这一比例就迅速降到了14%。以下列举了上述研究和会议讨论中出现的部分解释：
Discouraging odds. Although 83% of mid-level women have a strong desire to move up to a higher level in their companies, their chances of landing a senior executive job are 60% those of men, Vikram Malhotra, McKinsey's chairman of the Americas, told about 170 attendees. In a statement that was repeated throughout the conference, Malhotra said 'middle-management women get promoted on performance, while middle-management men get promoted on potential.' That means that some women may have to work even harder than their male counterparts to get promoted。
Lifestyle preferences. Many mother and fathers say they wouldn't take any promotion that hurt their work-life balance, Malhotra says, but women feel a greater need after having kids to limit travel, McKinsey found. And for women at mid-career who have had one or two children, added Sallie Krawcheck, president, global wealth and investment management at Bank of America, in a conference interview, 'it's socially acceptable to go home.'
生活方式的选择。马尔霍特拉说，很多父母都表示，他们不会接受会损害工作与生活平衡的晋升。但麦肯锡的研究发现，有了孩子之后，女性往往感到更有必要控制出差的次数。美国银行(Bank of America)全球财富与投资管理部总裁克劳切特(Sallie Krawcheck)在会议上接受采访时补充说，对于那些有了一到两个孩子的中层职业女性来说，“回家”是能够得到社会认可的行为。
The glass ceiling. As one woman in the McKinsey study said, 'there are no females in upper management in my company.' Without role models, sponsors and mentors in top management, it is hard for women to imagine themselves in those jobs. One perpetuating factor is managers' fear that 'if we promote a woman and she goes out on leave, we won't make our numbers. It's too risky,' Malhotra says。
Lower pay. Nancy Carter, senior vice president, research, for Catalyst, said her group's study of 5,000 employees worldwide found 'women were placed in lower positions with lower pay in their first jobs' compared with men, 'and the gap increased over time.'
Forbidding child-care costs. If child care eats up your paycheck, working 'isn't worthwhile, unless you absolutely love your job and are willing to take a financial hit for the pleasure of working,' Saadia Zahidi, a director and specialist on women's issues at the World Economic Forum, told the group。
Contentment - really. McKinsey found 'women often stay put in jobs if they derive a sense of meaning from the work. More than men, women prize the opportunity to pour their energies into making a difference,' the study says. 'Women don't want to trade that joy for what they fear will be energy-draining meetings and corporate politics' at higher levels of management。
Readers, have any of these factors affected your career decisions? Are there other factors that are left out? Which do you think have the most powerful effect on working parents? Are the career influences changing for women?