I spent so many late hours in the office, I started sleeping there.
Gouging my eyes out with ice picks is more appealing than another minute of this Powerpoint.
Who the run the world? Girls! Who’s turned off by becoming a boss? Girls! A new study has revealed why women are less inclined to make it to the top and surprisingly, it’s not for the reasons that you’d expect.
Unlike men, the study conducted by Bain Capital found that women preferred work/life balance and lost interest in climbing the corporate ladder after only two years due to the sacrifice. Apparently having to be on call 24 hours a day and networking on the golf course to secure a big deal wasn’t that appealing, reported the Daily Mail.
What’s more, pulling an all-nighter and socialising your way to an account was where the majority of corporate recognition came from. According to the study: “If corporate recognition and rewards focus on those behaviours, women feel less able, let alone motivated to try, to make it to the top.”
Sleep and health, or work and work? Hmm… What entices you more?
Interestingly, after two years in a job, research indicated that women’s confidence fell by up to 60 per cent as opposed to men whose confidence only dropped by 10 per cent. A similar statistic emerged when the participants were asked if they thought they had what it takes to become the director – 27 per cent of the ladies said yes, however over a two year span it decreased to only 13 per cent.
Again, this could come down to the fact that women actually wanted a life outside of their job – and becoming director, well, let’s face it, would mean no life.
Telling “war stories” and sacrificing everything to close a sale was found to be “demoralising” to women. While men were seemingly happy to do whatever it took, whenever it took, women had more of a conscious. One women was quoted in the study as saying: “I just kept sinking lower in my chair and thinking that I would never be able to make it to the senior ranks if this was what it took.”
The two-year itch
While the study of 1000 participants found that both sexes initially had the same aspiration to advance upon starting a new job, this dropped for women dramatically over two years. Among new employees, 43 per cent of females and 34 per cent of males said they wanted to be the boss, however this decreased to 16 per cent for women over a two year period while men stayed the same.
According to the findings, some women said they weren’t “cut out” for top management and others were told that they didn’t “really want it.” It seems the expectations that come with being the top dog just aren’t realistic for women. In all fairness, perhaps they’re just not realistic in general.
Timing is critical. When it’s easy for a boss to say ‘no’, then she or he will do so. Friday afternoon is a good time to ask for a pay rise because the boss can then spend the weekend worrying that you might leave.It also gives the boss time to work out how they are going to justify your increase to their own direct report. Max says: “Do not rush your boss into a decision. Use phrases like ‘I would like you to think about’ and ‘at an appropriate time …’
“So it goes something like this: ‘Jane/Jack as you know I have been with you now for nine months and the job has developed in some interesting ways, particularly in xyz.
“I would like you to review my salary arrangements. As you know the range for my job is from x to y. I don’t expect an answer immediately as I know you will want to think through my contribution and my market value.
“However, you can appreciate that I would not have mentioned this unless I had given it a lot of thought. Thank you for this opportunity Jack/Jane. I know you will do your best for me.”
Finally, remember the second rule of negotiation, “if you don’t ask, you
Interpreting the answer
Recruitment consultants would also add a piece of advice about what to do if you are turned down.
It’s all in the delivery. If the boss says to someone ‘we can’t right now but let’s look at it in three months or six months’ then they probably mean it.
However, if your direct report delivers an outright ‘no’ then you might want to think about joining another company.
Make sure you do your research. If you are in sales or another revenue generating positions your chances are better than those that are not.
Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to www.careerone.com.aufor more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can
be directed to CareerOne by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org