What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three

What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three

(AS) “I know there is still discrimination but what I’ve seen is more about age than gender. When I started moving up past your entry level position…the gentlemen I worked with made it well known, ‘I’ve been doing this for as long as you’ve been alive.’ I know there’s something to be said for experience. There’s also something to be said for new understanding and the perspective the younger generation brings to the workplace. Many of us are better educated. I realized how threatened that man felt. I had to learn to watch out for that.”

(MR) “I didn’t get the first promotion I applied for. I was young and inexperienced, but I knew I could do the work and do it well. The CEO took me by the hand and spoke to me like a child when he told me his decision. That wasn’t the only time I felt that my age or my gender kept me from moving up. I reacted by moving on to bigger and better jobs elsewhere, proving I could do anything I put my mind to. I was a driver. But their actions fueled my drive even more.”

Survey response: When asked if they had experienced discrimination at work, 44% said they had direct experience with it in the workplace. Another 31% said they had witnessed discrimination but it had not affected them. 19% said they thought it existed but had not experienced it while 6% felt that discrimination is a thing of the past.

Sample survey comments:

“Early in my career, I encountered this more. I have not felt it much in the past 15-20 years.”

“My perception is that men are more highly compensated. Having said this, I don’t believe that I am overtly discriminated against as a female.”

“For as long as women are women and men are men, we will aways have differences/discrimination; competition and ambition to achieve is innate, not based on sex. The only problem is that women are willing to voice concern and do something about discrimination. Men shrug it off and steamroll on in most cases!”

“I know it definitely existed in the past, but I have never felt even the slightest bit of discrimination. My friends/peers in my age group feel the same way. Across multiple jobs and working with all different types of people, it has just never been an issue for me.”


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About the Author

Marcia ReynoldsIn addition to coaching leaders in global companies, Dr. Marcia Reynolds travels the world speaking and teaching classes in advanced coaching skills, leadership and emotional intelligence. She is the author of 3 books and has been quoted in major online and print publications in the US and Europe.

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