While formal training is great, it hasn’t helped to move women up the corporate ladder. Instead, women need to land the hot, high-profile jobs within companies that lead to big promotions, says a new report by Catalyst, a nonprofit research group that aims to expand opportunities for women in the workplace.
Among both genders who have completed training programs, men are still more likely than women to lead projects with bigger budgets, larger teams, higher risk and more C-suite visibility. Catalyst also found men are much more likely to get profit and loss responsibility, a chance to manage staff and a budget of more than $10 million.
“There’s a need for companies to look beneath the surface if they want to close the gender gap,” says Christine Silva, Catalyst’s senior director of research.
On international assignments, men were generally more willing to relocate than women, however, even among those willing to relocate, more men than women were offered an international assignment, which typically led to better access to the corridors of power.
“Women and men use the same career advancement strategies, but men get a bigger payoff in terms of advancement and compensation growth,” Silva says.” It’s not a matter of whether women are aspiring to higher levels or even whether they are willing to relocate, there’s something else going on.”
This new Catalyst report is the sixth in a series following a group of 4,100 MBA alumni who graduated from 26 top business schools worldwide between 1996 and 2007. An earlier report found the disparity between male and female MBA grads begins soon after graduation and continues well into their careers. Even in their first post-MBA. job, men make on average $4,600 more than women after controlling for industry, job level and geographic region
Silva says if women are going to land the hot, jobs they need more access to senior-level sponsors with clout to close the persistent gender gap. Having a senior level sponsor advocate on your behalf is key for a women who might be seen as a riskier candidate,” Silva said. Mentoring is not enough, the study found. “Getting advice and suggestions won’t translate into advancement if you don’t have the opportunity to take on challenges,” Silva said.
Ilene H. Lang, president and chief executive of Catalyst, said the study shows that organizations who want to break through the logjam that blocks advancement for talented women need to think more critically about who gets which projects.
In Florida, Women Executive Leadership is hosting programs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa on Dec. 12 along with groups in 25 cities nationwide to bring attention to the work being done to increase the number of women on U.S. company boards and in leadership positions.
View the research results here: http://www.catalyst.org/publication/582/good-intentions-imperfect-execution-women-get-fewer-of-the-hot-jobs-needed-to-advance