What Keeps High Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: IV. The Shifting Female Mindset
Women are more responsible for their choices, and have many more choices to make. They have invented new patterns to deal with their lives and their careers. Some of their strategies have helped them to cope with the complexity. Some of them have helped them to get ahead. Yet some of the things that have helped them to be successful early in their lives end up hurting their careers as they progress.
Unfortunately, resources have not kept up with the changes. Women who enter the workplace full of confidence, pride and passion are not getting the help they need to navigate their professional journeys. In particular, high-achieving women, who have been evolving in the workplace at a fast pace, have even fewer role models or books written about their needs and behaviors to call upon. In order to help these women stay and succeed on the leadership track, it is critical that high-achieving women get more guidance that pertains to how they work and see the world.
These findings suggest that both the women and the organizations they work for would benefit from an analysis of some of the typical needs, perceptions and behaviors of high-achieving women in today’s US corporations. Given the results of the Gersick and Kram study (2002), it is likely that the second generation of high-achieving women in the workplace bring with them different values, concerns and thus, different needs and desires than the first generation of women that rose to fill these positions. As a result, these new themes and behaviors need to be identified with a focus on what is hindering as well as what is helping high-achieving women who aspire to succeed at work today.