Why Women Stop Climbing The Corporate Ladder

May 28, 2015
Women, Women In Business, Boss, Sacrifice, Workplace Equality, Gender Gap

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.

RELATED: National Sex Survey Reveals Women’s ‘Happy Ending’ At Work


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.

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