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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Busting myths about workplace fairness

An interesting study called 'The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing all the Right Things Really Get Women Ahead' posted on the Catalyst site is an eye-opener. If you think the answer to the above statement was 'yes', then you couldn't be more wrong. And this was despite doing all of the below things that could have got women labelled as an ideal worker.

• Actively seeks high-profile assignments,
• Rubs shoulders with influential leaders,
• Communicates openly and directly about their career aspirations,
• Seeks visibility for their accomplishments,
• Lets their supervisor know of their skills and willingness to contribute,
• Continually seeks out new opportunities,
• Learns the political landscape or unwritten rules of the company, and
• Isn’t afraid to ask for help.

What's more the same tactics worked differently for men. Yes, predictably it worked very well for them. This quote is actually highlighted in bold in the report: MEN’S “IDEAL WORKER” BEHAVIORS TRANSLATED INTO ADVANCEMENT; WOMEN LAG MEN REGARDLESS OF STRATEGIES USED.

But where women gained more was when they made their achievements known. This is something I've always been clear about - taking credit for work I do, and not wait for someone else to give it to me. And well as it turns out, it's the one thing that apparently works for us women!

To realise the extent of unfairness, men also gained better pay packages if they switched jobs as compared to women. They got paid for 'potential' while women are paid for 'proven performance'.

The only criteria where women and men benefited in the same way was when they had access to powerful people. Well, does this mean we need to just get ourselves powerful mentors and forget about everything else because nothing we do, seems to work in our favour? Gosh, I hope not!

You've got to read this great report here - it's only 24 colourful pages - http://www.catalyst.org/file/523/the_myth_of_the_ideal_worker_does_doing_all_the_right_things_really_get_women_ahead.pdf


Anonymous said...

I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks

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