What Keeps High Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: IV. The Shifting Female Mindset
This does not mean that the women were no longer juggling family responsibilities and making trade-offs in their careers to accommodate their outside obligations. However, these women had more resources at their disposal to create solutions, such as having money for housekeepers and nannies. Additionally, many of the women were seen as primary, not supporting players at work and at home. They saw themselves as equal partners with the men, which changes the rules when it comes to roles and responsibilities. Finally, the women in the study described similar personal themes at work described as, “…gaining confidence in one’s abilities, knowing what one wants, and being able to go after it.” (p. 109)
The researchers concluded that women’s stories about their careers are heavily shaped by the era in which they come of age. (p.110) Women today have a higher standard of living to maintain than ever before, a chance to do work they love and support in the home for following their dreams. (p. 112-113) Perhaps the greatest proviso the researchers found was the overall sense of confidence, pride and zest for life in the women they interviewed not present in the literature that described their predecessors. (p. 120)
As our society is shifting, so are the key dilemmas, costs and rewards shifting for women in the workplace today. They approach work very differently than the women who came before them. There are still glass ceilings and roadblocks on their paths but as the external obstacles are receding, the internal battles are changing.