If you’ve been in the workforce for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a wage discrepancy between men and women even if they’re doing the same job. For many years, women have had to deal with being paid much less for the same designations that their male counterparts are paid a higher salary for. This is probably why women are less likely to take up a managerial position in the workforce than their male counterparts. Many have argued that it’s simply because women do not possess leadership skills and qualities. However, in a study conducted by BI Norwegian Business School, it was brought to notice that this is not truly the case. In fact, the study proved that women actually do make better leaders than men:
In the study, the characteristics and personality traits of three thousand managers were taken into account. In this study, five categories were considered to evaluate the results and it was found that women outperform men in at least four of them. These categories were openness and ability to innovate, initiative and clear communication, sociability and supportiveness, goal setting and methodical management in which women excelled. In these categories, women excelled and performed remarkably better than their male counterparts. The outcomes show that women frequently rank higher, when all is said and done, than men in their capacity to develop and lead a team with clarity and impact.
These discoveries pose an authentic question about the development of a management hierarchy and the current position of women in higher roles. If the people behind the scenes making these decisions ignore this truth, they could basically be employing less qualified leaders and thus impairing productivity. This observation isn’t too far from the truth, even in regards to our own country. According to a study conducted by McKinsey in collaboration with LeanIn.org, the proportion of women entering the workforce at entry-level positions in America has hardly changed, and the progress isn’t just slow, it’s reached a complete standstill. This is what was found in Women in the Workplace in 2019 (1) (2).
What Are The Biggest Causes
It is suggested that women tend to hit a glass ceiling as they try to advance up the career ladder. It basically prevents them from getting to senior positions of leadership. The different social standards that are predominant often act as a glass ceiling and as an unreasonable impediment for ladies.
While some don’t receive help from their family to work, there are some who don’t even receive the proper training or skill-sets that would empower them to work in a regularized sector. In actuality, the most significant obstacle faced by women is the first step they take to reach the position of manager. This is colloquially referred to as ‘the broken rung’. This results in most women getting stuck in entry-level positions rather than climbing up the proverbial ladder and walking into a managerial position. To address this issue, companies must fix the broken rung. According to a survey conducted within the study, 1 in 4 women believes that their gender has played a significant role in them missing out on an opportunity to receive a promotion or even a raise.
And yes, race and sexual orientation too, play a role in this matter. A lot of women believe other aspects of their identity shape their experiences. Women of color, lesbian, women with disabilities and bisexual women, by far seem to have the worst experiences in the workplace. Most notably, black women and women with severe disabilities face more barriers to advancement, receive less support from managers and even receive lesser sponsorship options for further education based on these factors. They are also far more likely to hear demeaning, disparaging, and degrading remarks than those around them.
Another common issue is bias. Bias has an impact on a woman’s daily work experience and often impairs their abilities to advance. They are far more likely to experience discrimination at an everyday level than others, and it often hurts their chances of getting promoted and even hired.
There is also an apparent discrepancy in what men believe about the workplace environment and what women believe. While thirty-three percent of women in this survey believed that they had seen or heard bias against women at work, only eleven percent of men claimed the same (3).
With new studies being introduced to prove the inadequacies within the system and workforce, it is of utmost priority that women should be encouraged to work. At the same time, women should be allowed to take up top administrative positions that would assist them in gaining a significant amount of power and monetary stability. India as a country needs to push for women’s education and offer them incentives to join the workforce.
While the country has most definitely been making changes, we still have a long way to go if we want to get out of the developing economy bracket. What do you think? Do you believe women have a harder time climbing up the career chain? List down your thoughts in the comments below.
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