What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three
Survey responses: 100% of the women left home before they were 23 years old, with 59% leaving home at or before the age of 18.
Survey comment: “Paying for my own education made me appreciate it much more, take it more seriously and ultimately get more out of the experience. It also helped me transition quicker into the professional ‘real world’ after college and get a great job at a fortune 500 company.”
When the women entered the workforce, which was often before they were 20 years old, they felt pretty confident about their abilities. Generally, they had at least one person in their lives who had told them they were special and that they could do anything.
Sample interview responses:
(AW) “My stepfather absolutely supported me. He’d say, ‘You’re the smartest girl in the world, you don’t need to hang out with these losers, you’re this, you’re that.’ My stepfather gave me a lot of positive reinforcement and made me feel that I could accomplish things.”
(AS) “There was never anything I didn’t think that I could do…I played almost every single sport, was in so many different clubs, I was really lucky to not have to fight to join in.”
(JE) “My grandmother, my mother’s mother…I am who I am mostly because of her influence. She was an ICU nurse and knew her shit. Nobody messed with her. When she was finished with that she volunteered at hospice, in the last years of her life. I always say that if there was anything I want to be it would be to model her compassionate strength…people that are compassionate I’m drawn to, but people that are compassionate and maybe weak don’t always give you that feeling of security that they know what to do and will do it…I think somehow I’ve embodied that…to have my compassion come from strength. And I’m sure this is the source of my confidence…she always believed in me, without ever a doubt in who I was in all of those complicated ways.”