Leadership & Communication

Women are “striving for leadership”

2 Sep 2013, by Informa Australia

Leadership for Women training courseWomen are keen to pursue leadership development and overcome traditional stereotypes in the workplace.

This is the upshot of a new US study examining how women perceive employment challenges, the results of which could have implications for Australian offices.

Compiled by the Center for American Progress and lifestyle magazine ELLE, the survey showed women are aiming for high-flying positions and are eager to show their leadership skills.

According to the Center for American Progress, the research disputed some commonly held myths, including that women are not supportive of each other.

The results showed that more than two-thirds of respondents felt females backed the decisions made by other women in the workplace.

And women are not letting the prospect of motherhood curb their leadership ambitions, with just seven per cent claiming they have turned down an assignment or promotion because they fear the extra responsibility would be too much to handle.

Furthermore, only 14 per cent of mothers believe their superiors give them less responsibility because they are too busy with their families.

Despite this, there were statistics that ELLE and the Center described as concerning, particularly that nearly 30 per cent of women report discrimination in the workplace.

Over one-third of both men and women (34 and 35 per cent respectively) also said women do not occupy top business jobs because they are not tough enough.

“That male and female leaders think women aren’t tough enough to lead is deeply disturbing,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress.

“I was amazed people would even admit it. I think we’ve hit upon one of the reasons women have plateaued.”

Ms Tanden said that while these results show there are areas for improvement, it still outlined a number of positive outcomes.

“Women are striving for leadership, willing to take on new responsibilities. But they continually face hurdles.”

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